ANOTHER Stinkin' Advice Post!?!


Well-Known Member
ANOTHER Stinkin\' Advice Post!?!

I'm coming to a small crossroad in my flying and teaching career. I'll give a little background for anyone who wants to throw their $0.02 into the pot:

I'm 29 and in my 5th year of teaching. I teach 4th grade. I also have my commerical license and I hope to have my CFI done by the end of next month. The past 2 years I've managed to scrounge together enough money to pay off smoldering credit cards fresh from the FBO and save up enough to get me through my MEI. It was a wise decision to stay in the classroom this year instead of taking out another loan and melting more credit cards. I am now torn between the following options:

Option #1) Teach one more year and instruct on the side. I could save even more money for rainy days. The problem is, the school where I teach has very large classes (I have 29 kids now) and it's 40 minutes away. I'm out the door at 6AM and back home by 5PM most nights. That doesn't leave many daylight hours in the winter and by April that's prime thunderstorm time here in FL. Plus, I'm pretty tuckered out by the time I get home from work, would I really want to go to another job that requires me to be alert and focused after a long day in the classroom? There is always weekends, but most of the people in this area want to fly 3-7 times a week. I'm not really in a huge hurry to get my hours and the money would be nice, but teaching 29 kids can be very stressful at times.

Option #2) Quit my teaching job and instruct full time. My wife can help somewhat with the finances, and I can always substitute teach when money gets real tight. The problem: It's going to get pretty tight. My wife is awesome and I know we can get by, but I also know I'm going to have to really hustle for hours and sub whenver there's a chance. I would have the hours to move on much faster, but there's not exactly a hiring boom going on right now.

What would you do if you were in my shoes? I really enjoy teaching, but I would still be teaching if I made the jump to full time CFI this year. I've made a list of +/- and I'm still on the line in the middle. Any advice is much appreciated.
Re: ANOTHER Stinkin\' Advice Post!?!

I like the second option. If you instruct, you will have a great chance to network and of course, build you hours. When the hiring picks back up, I am sure you can get a job with the amount of hours you would have after instructing for a couple years. And if you have trouble, I am sure some of your networking contacts can help you find a job also.
Re: ANOTHER Stinkin\' Advice Post!?!


My wife is a teacher here in Florida, so I "feel your pain". However, I'm now entering the CFI job market and IT'S TIGHT!

On the other hand, you have to get wet to swim...

Re: ANOTHER Stinkin\' Advice Post!?!

Unless you are going to be FOR SURE getting over 50 hours of dual instruction a month I would keep your day job, and fly on the weekends. Then as a teacher you will also have the summers to fly. As far as any fbo around the country is concerned, they dont need another brand new cfi. Im a fresh cfi too and things dont look pretty. I flew with a guy who was a middle school teacher and track coach and instructed on the side, he was pretty cool and kept a good balance. You might be stressed out now but think if you quit your job and flew only twice a week and hung out at the fbo all day hoping new meat comes in only he wants to fly with the furloughed airline guy (cause he must be good).
Re: ANOTHER Stinkin\' Advice Post!?!


I think I would teach one more year, and instruct some in the evenings, but mostly during the summer. As Hootie mentioned, you will probably find it tough securing your first students during this current downturn. Hopefully in a year’s time you will have built up some additional savings to help you through the hard times that lie ahead and also made yourself more marketable in the CFI market.

Good luck with your decision, and keep us posted!