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Pieces of Paper

On Monday I signed up with a private tutoring agency. It was run from a home out near where I live, and conveniently placed near two schools, which I thought was a nice way to bring in some easy clients. At any rate, I was sitting there at the kitchen table, filling in the forms to be checked if I'm a child molester and what days I am available and what I can teach, because I figure private tutoring could be a way to get a solid bit of part time money. My goal with work, currently, is to find an outlet that doesn't eat up all my time, but which gets me a bit of cash, and won't bore me senseless. My main interest is that I can keep time to write. It's not a money thing: money wise, I've never made much from writing. I was told last year that the average income for a writer in Australia is three grand, but I can't remember if this is just with fiction, or part time, or what; it's certainly not the income of journalists, or anyone with a staff job, and last year I was about the average, doing mostly fiction (I could have made more should I pushed the freelance thing harder, but I wrote 26Lies instead). At any rate, that's not a lot of money, average income or not, but I never look too hard at fiction to get by. I certainly don't aim to keep the time to write so that I can make money through writing, which may seem strange, but there are easier ways, in my mind, to make money; still, I have a few opportunities which I didn't have before, and they require that I have the time to sit and write, so I look for work that will give me time and money to get by, mostly.

Private tutoring is this week's attempt. If it works out, it will work out nicely, but time will tell.

At any rate, I sat in this house filled with family photos and children's toys and a guy about ten years younger than me filled out a form, too. University students: cheap labour in the private tutoring world. But then, so are people with doctorates, or so I learnt, later, when I asked the woman in charge some of the details. It turns out that I am the cheaper choice to an actual High School teacher, who charge forty five dollars an hour (I get thirty); she--T is her name--reckons she had a guy like me a few years back, and he was very popular, and got a lot of work, so I can only hope, but with a laugh, I said, "I should charge more."

"Nah, you need that piece of paper," she replied. "It's all about the paper."

Well, the right paper, it seems.

Towards the end of last year, I thought it might be worth applying to do a diploma of education. I figured I could do the year course and then get onto the education system, and teach part time at High School. I don't really want to be a teacher at a High School, but I could handle the work, and teaching is a lot more reasonable to me than writing law reports and speeches for politicians and so forth. Plus, L, who used to do it, made it sound so glamorous, that I just couldn't resist (that's a joke, by the by; she didn't make it sound good at all). Anyhow, so I did the application, and sent it in, and in December, got a letter back telling me that I had been declined admission into the course.

The reason?

Not enough english (literature) studies in my academic transcript. At an undergrad level.

It was pretty funny, I thought. I had gotten into the Phd program in an english department, and had enough background there, but to teach High School level english, I needed to either go and do another year of University undergraduate literature and creative writing--courses which, you know, I taught in and continue to do so--or perhaps do a whole new BA, but this time in literature. The thought of it all made me laugh. It still does.

All my pieces of paper mean very little, but that's okay, because they were never meant to mean much.


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(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
nah, they do a police check here on you for it. i also have to explain what (if anything) they'll find on a police record of me.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
it's a serious world out there, and child molestation is the new Big Fear. it's on every corner, waiting with a math text book and a lollipop ;)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
i tend to think it's blown out of proportion, myself. society's fear of sex if it isn't a man and a woman aver the age of eighteen and within a year or two of each others age makes a lot of bogeymen to populate the world with.
Feb. 7th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
Wow, that really surprises me that they'd turn you down, especially for highschool level english.

Well anyway, I'm kind of glad they did since I fear you would, in an inevitable fashion, be eaten alive were you to teach at highschool.
Feb. 7th, 2007 02:53 am (UTC)
yeah, i'm not too fussed. if i could've gotten the paper within a year, i would have used it to snag work, but since i don't have it... well, i'm not going to try for it.
Feb. 10th, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
Can't you enrol in the Dip Ed in another area and have English as your minor? What I found in the dip ed was we didn't learn very much about actually teaching our subject; more info about teaching full stop. I've taught phys ed, careers, history, etc etc without doing any of that in the dip ed.

I ask for $44/hour English tutoring, but some of my colleagues regularly receive $60/hour!

Feb. 10th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
Can't you enrol in the Dip Ed in another area and have English as your minor?

nope. apparently i could become a social studies teacher, should i do another year, or half a years worth or work. but it's not really that big a thing--if i could do it straight out, be in and out within a year, sure, i'd do it. but anything longer than that stretches my tolerance for the thing. i can find money elsewhere--and really, if i'm getting paid a whole heap less than the people with the paper, i'm not fussed. it's sadly more than what i can get for anything else these days.
Feb. 7th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
I was a substitute teacher for a year in Florida. I taught Spanish and remedial English. It was the hardest work I've ever done. I was 26 and every night I came home obliterated form dealng with all that teenage energy and hostility. You're well out of it.
Feb. 7th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
yeah, i'm not thinking it's a bad thing to have skipped that. i didn't put much work into getting to it, either--i applied for one course, which is a pretty half assed attempt. i was just thinking it'd make a fair enough fall back plan...

but now i have others.
Feb. 7th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
Dude, I got $30 an hour for home tutoring when I just had hons, before I even started my PhD. Sydney sucks.
Feb. 7th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
i could probably have got another five bucks out them, i think, but i'm not overly fussed. well, maybe not. today's been a bad day about money, i tells you.
Feb. 7th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
You could probably get more if you went solo. Ads up on the boards at the local shops, maybe in the community newspaper.
Feb. 10th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
yeah, probably. a lot of people go through those agency things, though, and they do all the advertising... well, lets face it, i'm lazy :)
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