Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Moves & Debt

I am planning to do my student teaching in the city. The paperwork is filled out, I've been accepted to the SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center (SUTEC) program, and all I have left to do is find an apartment. It's the apartment that's killing me. Because I don't live in the city, and because I have shit to do and can't travel into the city every day, I can't successfully do the Craig's List thing and get myself a cheap-ish apartment. Basically, all the CL apartment's are gone before I even make the trip in. So now I'm going through a broker, which means I'm seeing places between $1000-$1200, which means, after fees, security, etc. my school debt is going to go up by at least $7000, moving my total debt into the $80,000 range.

Is this worth it?

If money were not a factor, I would absolutely want to teach in the city. The middle school that I'm likely to do the first half of my student teaching in is one of the best in NYC, and the teaching style there was described to me as "a mix of progressive and traditional methods" that I think will suit me well. So, should I let money get in the way of what I think will be a positive experience? And the other part of the money equation that I have to consider is that, should I stay teaching in NYC, I'll be earning a lower salary than if I'd stayed on Long Island, and I'll have equal or greater living expenses.

Where does the greater happiness come from? The more enjoyable work environment, or the lower-cost/higher-pay living environment?