Friday, April 5, 2013

Thoughts on My New Part Time Gig

Family picture on Easter
Back when I was first making new friends in the Mom's Club, I was engaged in some small talk and learned that one girl worked from home part-time for Pearson Education, a company that publishes textbooks and other educational materials.  Her job is to write math assessment items-which is actually what I have done as a summer job for Fairfax County Public Schools for several years.  Although I had an infant at the time, I filed this information in my head, but didn't pursue anything because well, I had an infant.  A couple months ago I received a call from this same friend who let me know that Pearson was looking for more writers and wanted to know if I was interested in working on a project.  I will admit that about a year ago at Kevin's encouragement I did reach out to my old summer coworkers (some of them have leadership positions now) and asked if they had anything available for me to do at home as I was still technically an employee of Fairfax County.  Didn't really get much of an answer, wasn't devastated.  But now, with a serious offer, I had to think about it.  My friend was asking me how much I knew about the Core Curriculum Standards, national standards that more and more states are moving towards adopting for their state tests.  I am only familiar with the Virginia Standards of Learning, although in the 8 years I taught they seemed to change in some way every couple of years or so- who knows what they will look like whenever I actually go back to teaching?  Will all schools be using the CCS?  Not only will I have to possibly reteach myself trig and certain other skills (again) but will I have to learn all new standards?  Having this job would keep me at least a little bit in the loop, and will help me keep my math skills fresh.  It will also help fill in that possible 10 year gap that will be in my resume once I venture back into the working world.

So, I said yes.  The project goes until the end of May, and broken up into 4 parts where I am writing questions for 4 different grade levels.  The first due date was only a week after I got my assignment, and I was only trained for about an hour.  Needless to say, after that first week of staying up late and trying to do what I could during CJ's naps- I was definitely questioning my decision.  I could not do what I normally do being a stay-at-home mom with getting CJ out of the house and not just plopping him in front of the TV AND devote the time needed to do a good job with this project AND get 7-8 hours of sleep with the pace of this job.  Thankfully, since the next due date isn't until April 22 I do not feel the stress quite as much.  Also, I can say "no" to projects, so if it is a particularly busy time, I can just tell Pearson to keep me in mind for the next one.  As long as I get plenty of time to work, I think this job will be just something little to keep my "adult mind" fresh, and more prepared to go back to work when the time comes.  Not sure how I will do when there are more kids and less naps in the picture, but I'll keep you posted! 

Due to a weird what I think was an inner-ear infection last week, I have not cooked anything too notable that I would want to share with you.  Last week was a lot of take-out (dizzy spells and knives-not good), and this week I am just now finally getting motivated to cook again, but really nothing too exciting.  Looking forward to sharing something with you soon though.  Tomorrow night Syracuse will be playing in the Final Four, so I may be cooking something special for the occasion.  Go Orange! 

CJ keeping himself busy in our room while I stayed in bed