Sabbatical? Take one if you can
My sabbatical is winding down. A full year of classes, travel, visiting schools, and no teaching.
I turned 50, hiked to Machu Pichhu, studied cryptography.
I am relaxed and healthier.
Over the next month and a half I will tell some sabbatical stories in this space.
But for now, I’m worried about one particular story: yours.
If you are eligible, you should do this. The time is amazing. The stress on the job is too great. The opportunity to learn is wonderful. And the time to do other things is too.
What are you waiting for? You need to be in your fourteenth year when you apply.
The DoE memo comes up in February. They leave you a window of about two weeks to get the application in. It’s not enough time… so start way before February. There are UFT workshops afterschool in each borough in the fall. Attend. Figure out where you are going to take courses. Use last year’s memo as a template. Figure out some likely courses. They need to be rigorous and job related. And the majority (you’ll need a total of 16 credits) have to be at times that you would otherwise be teaching.
Money? You still get 70% of your pay. After taxes, that’s a lot less of a cut than most people expect. If even that is too much, you can cut TDA for a year (but I don’t like the sound of that). Plus the year still counts towards pension. Find a way to tighten the belt a little, if you have to. But no excuses.
Many UFTers think that sabbaticals no longer exist. Wrong. Think that most applications get rejected. Wrong. Think they can’t afford one. Wrong.
So stop making excuses – get ready for the February application. You won’r regret it.