Until a few days, I was getting all psyched up to buckle down as a full-time, self-employed person as of September. I had and still have contracts set up to be doing a combination of jobs under the business name of Edwise Editor and Education Consultant--tutoring, ghost writing, testing and subbing. I was feeling good about being able to enjoy that status as an independent professional controlling my own hours and projects, and doing the kind of work I like more or less under my own terms. I signed up with a tutoring agency, enlisted to sub at a local EFL college, applied to be a contracted testing official, and agreed to working on call, online as a ghost writer. I had achieved a dream of being in a position to be able to make a regular, decent living that way.
Then--darn it!--the institution that contracted me to be a sub offered me full-time work. Although I intend to retain a little of self-employment on the side, I could not turn out the good hourly rate of pay doing what I am well qualified to do, 40 hours a week. The deal was to sit in their writing and study center standing by to assist students with their writing assignments, unless I was requested to substitute for one of their regular instructors. The terms were flexible: I could leave on the afternoons when I have appointment with my private students, and I could work regular part-time or full-time hours in the writing center. Sounded easy.
Within what seemed was a few seconds after I was processed as a new contracted sub, though, a director informed me that they were short one regular instructor. She offered me the position. It is 15 hours over five afternoons. We negotiated. I still get a complement of writing assistance time to make up a full-time schedule, and the coordinator of the writing and study center still offers flexible terms. I can thus keep my private student. Given the flexibility and the relatively high hourly rate for instructing, and the projected monthly income this arrangement would give me, I have said yes.
I find myself with decent, full-time work at a fine establishment with high-quality, professional staff and serious students in an arrangement that suits me well. I think I can manage it well, because hanging out at the writing center allows for an instructor to plan lessons and get some personal tasks done on the job, outside classroom teaching hours. On the less favourable side, it means working downtown every week day again, which means taking that monotonous and tiresome bus commute over and over again. Ughh! Actually, I will be working between two locations, downtown Vancouver and a nearby suburb, which means taking the bus three times a day, that (I hesitate to ponder the amount of time commuting, sigh!) is two to two-and-a-half hours a day. At least I'll have only one class and the same students for a full term to deal with, rather than managing multiple classes and different groups of students on a short rotation of a few weeks, as I have had to do before. Though I won't have my own office space, but will be using space shared with colleagues and students, at least the work to do outside class time will be easy and flexible.
If I want, I can take on another student on Saturdays, or possibly be in charge of testing on Saturdays. I have an interview coming up with the testing organization in the second stage of their hiring process. The tests only take place on Saturdays, and it is well paid work that is not difficult. If they allow testers to work one or two Saturdays a week, I'll agree to it. Otherwise, the tutoring agency is sure to need tutors on Saturdays.
The work will take a lot of time, leaving less time for the political activism and personal errands. I must get organized to fit it all in.