Last July I read an email from the principle at my school and decided that this was that last year I'd be teaching at that school.
You see, I'm kind of a long suffering kind of person. (That much is obvious, I guess. I mean - 17:20 to finish an ironman. jeesh.) . But then there comes that moment, which some will refer to as the "last straw" but that's the moment, that IS THE MOMENT where I look at the person or the email or whatever it is and I realize,
that's it. I'm done.
And that moment came last July. It doesn't matter what happened. It was just that moment, after years of creeping doubt and bitterness when I suddenly realized, it's not me. It's them.
This realization came slowly, but through several comments people made to me over the year by people who were in my classroom, observing me. There was the special education teachers and the sign language interpreter who told me that they could understand Algebra now, and before Algebra sucked. There was that new teacher observing me who asked me if he could come back because I was organized (ME!) and he wanted to write down some of the things I did. Then there's that school counselor who told me I have "a way with kids."
I ignored them at first. Like a battered spoused who ignores her friends telling her she deserves better, I hung on for 8 years telling myself, it's going to get better, hoping I was okay and any day now my district would start appreciating me...and then there was that moment when it finally hit me:
THey don't care about me.
It's been 8 years.
They will not change.
I have to leave.
It's finally dawned on me that it's not me. I don't think that my school district respects its teachers. Maybe it's the community I live in, and their politics. 1/4 of our school's teaching staff turned over last year.
Now, I have this theory about that every person needs that little edge of insecurity, just that tiny bit of worry that maybe that aren't as good as they think they are and that makes them work just that much harder to be good at whatever it is that they do. It's why they work so hard.
Well, my current employer has capitalized on my nagging self-doubt long enough.
The only thing I've been mulling over the last couple of months is, what will I do next? AFter exploring a lot of options, I've decided I need to try a change of venue. I'm not leaving teaching, not now. SO this morning I turned in an application to Albuquerque Public Schools to be a math teacher for them. It's scary. They're huge., with over 6000 teachers and a whole bunch of high schools.
I'm kind of sad. And pissed. I've been in a co-dependent relationship with my current district for so long (8 years) and change is scary. I have a 4-mile commute and what if APS doesn't want me? (True, they did call me 30 minutes after I submitted my online appliction and clarified a few things before sending out their letters of inquiry to my listed references. )
It's really, really hard to find experienced math teachers. Really hard. My two previous interview for math teacher both went like this:
....Sooooo, this is the school...here's the lunch room, administration...here's let me introduce you to the math department head...hey, when do you think you get down to district to sign a contract?
Me: well, I, uh...
You know what? never mind. Tasha - can you zip on down to district and bring back this nice lady a contract to sign? Say, do you have a TI graphing calculator? Stop by the book room on the way out and get yourself one.
But that was 8 years ago. I might have to answer questions and stuff this time.
So anyway. I guess I'm rambling. I'm really nervous about this. I don't know why. change is scary. I'll keep ya posted.
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