Wednesday, February 27

Midweek Mindset

The consensus is that the best thing I can do for my health is change up the job situation. I intuited this long time ago. So I returned to the questions: is teaching being my passion, my love, my calling?
I'm sure I could *make* teaching all those things, or maybe time could, but as it is right in this moment... no, no, and no.

It is definitely not a question of the children. They are the best part. They are fun to be around even when they're not. However, maybe I'm better suited to work with a different demographic. My earliest experiences in classrooms happened in both urban & suburban magnet schools with impressively heterogeneous student bodies - the same kinds of schools I attended. I acclimated well. I felt no discord between my beliefs and the school culture.
I could go on for days about administrators (local to national) and how they uphold the bureaucracy at all costs - and that's with my limited knowledge about all the issues, successes and ramifications surrounding current policies.
What it all comes down to my willingness to play this game.

This is a public service. I serve the people. It's definitely a game. I could learn the rules, I can play. I just don't want to. I don't think it's worth it. My school expects and thrives on the complacency of its educators and the ignorance of the parents. I've worked hard to keep my name and face unattached to the school and there's a sense of urgency about getting out. As fearful as I am of making a leap of faith right now, there are a multitude of different paths i could take in order to work with young people.

I keep imagining the key components of an ideal situation:
a literacy-based program
within a school but not run by the school
photography & creative writing as tools of communication
student advocacy for social justice
varied projects being worked on at the same time
like-minded coordinators, directors, instructors and learners

I worry that because I am shy and have confidence issues, I've may have missed certain opportunities to switch gears.
But there's still time.
Maybe that ideal situation won't come to me by next September, but I'm hoping and seeking an environment that just does things differently from the place I'm in now.

4 comments:

Myra B said...

i so understand and feel you, B.

Myra B said...

i so understand and feel you, B.

B! said...

I promised myself no more "I need to leave this job" posts because writing them depresses me. It's time to act.

But it feels so good to be understood on this, Myra. Thank you.

Miss Profe said...

I feel you, too.:)

I teach at an independent school. Independent schools are tuition-driven and self-supporting. Which means that there must be a healthy percentage of full-pay families. More often than not, full pay=less-than-qualified applicant. If a family can pay, the school often overlooks things that run counter to the mission and philosophy of the school, and thus the educational program is compromised. When the educational program is compromised, then it stresses the system - namely the teachers.

So, there are many students who are fragile cognitively, emotionally. They have learning disabilities and/or emotional issues that the school really cannot manage optimally. But, I am expected to work with them, because the parent paid in full.

I say all of this to give you some context, and to say that I often ask myself, "Why am I doing this, and can my skills and talents and expertise be better utilized in an organization which is not so compromised.