Saturday, April 18, 2009


"Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know" by Clash

I was talking about my recent job ambivalence with Rhonda yesterday. She was intrigued by the idea that I feel like I "owe" my current school and or principal something. She tried to get me to articulate what that something may be, but I was at a loss for words. I am not sure if I can explain it or not.

Throughout high school and college, I had this notion in my head that I would teach where it mattered most, in a high need urban school district. So I am doing that and have been for a while. It is hard, incredibly challenging, demanding, meaningful, sometimes rewarding. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, like I am simply not doing enough despite working a bazillion hours a week. Other times, I feel disenchanted with the whole bureaucracy aspect, as if it interferes with what I want to do. Other times too, I feel uninspired by the curriculum. I love when there are gaps in the curriculum units we have to teach and I have time to do my own stuff. I love hearing how my students think and seeing their progress over time. Since I have many of my students for two and sometimes three years, I get to know them really well and see amazing growth from when they started to the time they leave.

There is a notion that all of the teachers in my district are under performing, incompetent and lazy. I know that I am working to change that misconception by taking countless classes, staying current with research, and seeking to find what works for my students. So if I leave, am I being hypercritical? Am I giving up on what I set out to do? Am I taking my skills and talents elsewhere to a place that better meets my increased awareness of what I need in a workplace? Is that selfish? Does leaving to work in a different district mean that I am contributing to the problem of retaining highly qualified teachers in my current district? Does it mean that I will perpetuate and be part of the stereotype that the district doesn't have any good teachers?

I need a break and a little sunshine, stay tuned for more thoughts and hopefully, some increased clarity on this issue.

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