I’m baaaaaack!

Lately, I’ve been itching to blog again. It turns out teaching gives me a desperate need for a place to catch my thoughts: nothing gets my brain moving like 100+ middle school students who deserve to learn 100000+ things in class this year due to the 10000000+ ways I could be better for them. My mind is constantly tripping over itself with problems and solutions and hopes and ideas and frustrations, but I’m a little short on people in my life who want to troubleshoot curriculum and management and education policy with me as often as I’d like to. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that’s actually what blogs were invented for… so here we are.

 

Five years ago last June, I left the classroom. I agonized about the decision, but ultimately decided it was the right choice for that moment and I could always go back to teaching. Here’s the lightning-fast version of what I’ve been up to:

  • I became a dean of students at a charter school, which I was bad at and didn’t enjoy when I started. I stayed in it until I learned that I didn’t like my job even when I wasn’t bad at it anymore, and then I moved on.
  • I still had things I wanted to learn about leadership but missed kids and curriculum, so I became a teacher coach at a district middle school. I learned so many important lessons about teaching and curriculum and managing adults, but couldn’t have done that forever.
  • I got promoted to co-lead the school, which was a great experience for all the right reasons but farther from kids than I ever wanted to be.
  • Personal reasons required me to move cities, and I didn’t forget that I’ve complained every day about how much I missed the classroom. I applied only for middle school math teaching jobs, and now I’m teaching 7th grade math in a district school.

 

To be clear, I don’t regret the time I spent in school leadership. I get bored easily and I absolutely love to learn, and a tour of the different leadership roles in middle schools taught me even more than I’d ever expected: about schools and teachers, about communities and policies, about math and planning, about teaching and learning, about managing kids and managing adults, about systems and procedures and finances and tradeoffs. I like to believe I helped some phenomenal teachers along their path to greatness, and I definitely believe that everything I experienced will make me a much better teacher than I ever was before.

 

And if nothing else, it made me really appreciate what a special job it is to be a classroom teacher. It’s November and I’m still a ridiculous Pollyanna caricature about teaching, to the point where I have to keep quiet so the other teachers on my team don’t banish me from the teacher’s lounge. Plenty of things go wrong all the time, but everything feels like a blessing after a five-year drought. Spending all my money on classroom decorations? Yes please! Tutoring after school? Every day! Sitting in PD I don’t have to deliver? Sign me up! Managing a classroom? What an adventure! Creating curriculum? How fun!  I’m sure my feelings will moderate back to a normal place over time, but I know for sure that this is the best profession in the world and I’m not sorry about that. I’m back!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s