Thank you for all the joy and pain; though we go our separate ways...
TFA and I are breaking up. It's not them, it's me.
I wasn't looking for another job offer, it found me. But when it did, I realized something that had been in the back of my head all along: I don't really like being a public schoolteacher.
Perhaps readers of this blog have been aware of this, and are wondering what else is new. But saying that I don't like being a teacher doesn't mean that I don't enjoy a lot of aspects of the job.
It's a breakup tinged with sadness. I'm going to miss my students, and I'm not looking forward to announcing this news to them next week.
Nor do I regret joining TFA. While I've griped some about the organization (mostly its lack of interest in standing up to the charter movement's over-emphasis on test scores), I would still recommend it to other people -- at least, to people who really want to be teachers.
The fact is -- and this is, of course, the criticism of TFA -- I never really wanted to be a teacher in the way most people define that word. I wanted to try it. I wanted to get kids excited about science. Selfishly, I've discovered a tremendous amount about what makes me happy (and, more frequently, what doesn't) with respect to working life, and I feel a much clearer sense of purpose than I did before. I still want to get kids excited about science, and I still plan to. My new job will still take me into the classroom, albeit much less, but I'll have a lot more energy when I'm there. More on that later.
I plan to repeat this post when I have more time to fill in the details and explain myself more fully. For now, danke schön, TFA, and auf wiedersehen.