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Turning down income (long)

March 7th, 2013 at 04:15 pm

Yes, I currently find myself contemplating turning down some income. In addition to my full time job as a career counselor I teach an on-line Student Development course. This class is "my baby". I developed all the curriculum (including a module on Financial Literacy), learned all the technology required to build the class, and attended a rigorous 4 month course that is required by my college for anyone who wants to teach an on-line class. To my delight (and my director's) the class really took off! So, enrollment has steadily increased over the past few years. Currently, I am the only one qualified to teach the class.

My director approached me yesterday asking how I felt about teaching a section this summer. So far, we have run the class only in the full Spring and Fall semesters. Summer sessions are much shorter, and you still have to cram 15 weeks of work into either 5 or 7 weeks.

The pay is $2130 per class before taxes. It usually equates to about an extra $220 per paycheck. Nothing to sneeze at. But, I am exhausted. My mom, who is 86 years old lives with me and over the past 6 months she has had two major surgeries and very difficult recoveries. For any of you who care for aging parents, you know how difficult and demanding this can be.

So, I feel like I really need the summer off from teaching to just rest up and get my mojo back, but, I hate to turn down the money, as well as having to decline the offer. My director is great, and very understanding so there wouldn't be any backlash if I declined, but after working so hard to develop this class I really want it to keep growing!

It's a dilemma....part of me feels like I can just suck it up for 7 weeks, and the other part of me just doesn't have the energy...

6 Responses to “Turning down income (long)”

  1. Carolina Girl Says:

    Thank you for the advice you offered me on the IRA/401k discussion. I just finished catching up on all your blog. I think you are in a position where it is okay to say "thank you but I can't". If you run yourself ragged, you won't be in a position to help your mother. I personally think you can "afford" to take the summer off and still maintain your steady goals. Whatever you do, I wish you the best!

  2. laura Says:


    The best thing you can do is take care of yourself. If you're having reservations, I'd say skip this gig. Let your boss know you'd like to be considered again next time.

  3. snafu Says:

    I suggest you look at this long term. You're currently teaching a very demanding program with no back-up + day-to-day tasks for living + looking after your ill, elderly mom. What is left for you? Teaching summer school by compressing a 15 week program into 7 weeks ups the stress factor considerably. Those students pay big bucks for their courses and expect the very best of time and attention. You didn't mention numbers but I figure it's more than 3. if interactive.

    What will you have left to give your students in September? How exhausted do you need to be by burn-out are factors to consider. Your Director will need to work it out - that's her job. There are tons of qualified, experienced on-line instructors. They will need to learn the specific material.

  4. snafu Says:

    BTW, the pay is a little low, the going rate is slightly over $ 3K per course for qualified instructors for interactive program with 15-25 students

  5. Jerry Says:

    It sounds like this course is your baby, and you have the insurance that they will let you take your time in growing it. I think that if it leads to too much stress right now, there is nothing wrong with preparing for a year to introduce it as a summer course, if you are feeling overwhelmed right now! I wish you well, no matter what you decide.
    Jerry

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    As someone who also takes care of an aging parent, I would decline. You need the time to relax a little and recharge you batteries. If you were in dire need of the money that would be one thing, but this sounds more like not wanting to cut the apron strings to your project. Besides if you are exhausted how good of a teacher are you going to be to the kids in summer session? And with no time to recharge how good of a teacher are you going to be come fall session? Things to really think about.

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