Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Teacher Forever?

After dealing with certain school issues last year, and now being told by the Federal Government that we are Program Improvement, teachers are starting to question whether or not the profession is really for them. I can't really blame people. The media is against teachers, the town shows no signs of attracting business (which equals enrollment), the environment is non-academic and incredibly expensive, and worst of all, change is not looking positive for the long term. This is a clear sign of "stay away" for young teachers, or simply a sign to get your feet wet and go to greener pastures down the road, something that I've heard mentioned a half dozen times in the last month.
I have to admit, I've talked about it with my wife. We have both expressed interest in getting Master's Degrees, and possibley looking to teach at higher levels. By Master's, I mean degrees that we really enjoy acquiring, not that buy-me-over-a-year degrees in Education that would be painfully boring, and somewhat humiliating. I'm interested in Master's Degrees in History, Political Science (more towards International Relations), or Urban Planning. Hell, I would go back to school and get a BA in Urban Planning if I had to. I would enjoy it! However, both of us feel that where we work is a huge factor in us sticking around. We both like our schools a lot, like the people in that admin position, and we really like our colleagues. I love the people I work with; people with dedication, high standards, and a passion for helping kids succeed in society. I feel very protective of my department and consider it the best on campus, which might be why I get a little pissy about media articles that tear apart hard working people.

This entire mode of thought came from a post I read this morning in Dy/Dan, a teacher that graduated from, of all places, Ukiah High School. It sounds like he's got the itch to move on, to go on to greener pastures. His trade-off situation is interesting; does he want to go into Administration, or go after his Doctorate. As is probably evident, I would go after my Doctorate and wouldn't even bother attempting a administrative position. My weakest part of teaching is parent relations, and an administrator needs to have good PR skills. I'll say "No" and then "because that's the way it is", which doesn't go well with everyone.

In the end, it looks like he's just a little burned out, already. I offered him some advice; calm down, put a little more attention towards yourself, and realize that the most important stuff goes on in the classroom. If you burn yourself out by preparing, you're no good when the payoff comes.
blog comments powered by Disqus