Thursday, June 2, 2011

Danke Schön

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.

1 comment:

  1. What a loss for the public school system!