The tutoring agency called me today and said I got the part-time Resource Room teacher job! Yay! I'm not sure yet when I'll start, but probably sometime next week. :)
Also, I was accepted to attend two days of (free) training in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) with an Early Intervention agency in a couple of weeks. Early Intervention is one-on-one teaching for kids ages 0 - 3 who are experiencing some sort of delay. After the two full days of training, I'll do ten hours of observation/practice, and if I do well with that, they will assign me some Early Intervention cases where I'll work one-on-one with kids in Brooklyn in their homes. I'm a little nervous about teaching such young kids -- babies, really -- but so many children receive Early Intervention services these days, it will be really valuable experience.
So if I can keep tutoring the seventh grade student I currently tutor through one agency six hours a week, and if I can do the part-time Resource Room teacher job through the other agency, and if I can keep my unemployment, I should be able to survive financially until I (HOPEFULLY) land a full-time-with-benefits teaching job this fall -- IF Congress passes legislation to extend unemployment benefits again. To qualify for the current extension, you have to exhaust your current benefits by March 31st, and mine won't run out until two weeks later (d'oh! missed it by *that much*!).
I really, really, really hope the extension passes. If it doesn't, hopefully the Early Intervention gig will work out and make up the financial difference. *fingers crossed*
I was pleased to see that Obama signed that bill extending health care coverage to more low-income children today (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090205/ap_on_go_pr_wh/children_s_health_20), and I'm very curious to see what happens with his proposal to make people who are on unemployment automatically qualify for Medicaid. That would really be a godsend. Let's put it this way: I receive $405 per week in unemployment benefits, which is the most you can get in NY State. But you have to pay taxes on it, so I let the feds take out 10% every week, which brings it down to $364.50 per week (I'm sure I'll actually owe about 25% on it in total when I file my taxes, but they won't take out more than 10% when they give it to you). That's $1,458 per month -- too much to qualify for Medicaid or food stamps. But the rent on my one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn is $993 per month, and the cheapest plan available under Healthy New York, the public program for those too "rich" to qualify for Medicaid (i.e., single adults without children who earn more than $600-something per month) is like $185 per month. That leaves $280 for the month -- $280 for food, electricity, phone, transportation, laundry, etc.
If I didn't have these part-time jobs, I'd never make it.
That's why this economic meltdown is so frightening. I am incredibly lucky to have an education, a teaching certificate, work experience, to be living in a big city with a variety of industries, and to not have anyone else to support besides myself. What about people, especially people with children to feed, who never went past high school and have always worked at jobs that never required more than that -- jobs that are now disappearing? What are they going to do?? :(