Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Firebird Fires Back

The proverbial summer has come to an end, and school begins full force tomorrow. This certainly has been a summer of firsts, seconds, and holy craps and while I'm nervous for everything to come, I know that it's all going to be eye opening and humbling for me. After two months of letting rumors fly, bets be placed, and minds reel, I thought it best to clear the air and set the record straight.

I left Station Camp because... gave me a great start as a public high school teacher, but I had my moment, and it's time for someone else to go in and love the kids. From crying on a daily basis my first year to walking the halls with my tough reputation in tow, I ran the gamut as a bison. Student council, prom, AP Lang Comp, Froshies -- I wouldn't trade a minute of my time at SCHS because it helped me to find myself as an educator; however, I need a new challenge to keep me on my toes so that I can learn more about teaching, about life, and about myself.

I chose Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet because...
...I was afforded a great opportunity to leap, so I slid off my floaties and dove head first. The outpouring of community from the teachers and staff (and even the BOE -- education people will understand why this one is a surprise!) has been huge, and I'm glad to have spent a good chunk of my summer working with new "family," not to be confused as replacements for my bison family. This job is different in every way imaginable, and it doesn't require me to give up everything that I love. No, I won't be teaching AP for now, but I will get to continue my involvement in TASC and student council, and I'll have some amazing opportunities to collaborate with teachers all across the school and district.

Why some people think I'm going...
...almost makes me laugh yet simultaneously makes me sad. I am not choosing a turn-around school with a poorer population in order to splint a bunch of broken wings and return baby birdies to the nest; I am choosing a turn-around school with a poorer population because I need a challenge to become a better teacher. I need a kid with the guts to go toe to toe with me; a kid who desperately tries to get people to give up on him even though he needs them to stick around; a kid who will force me to ask myself how to do my job better and who will constantly force me to ask "who am I?" and "what is my purpose?"

What some people secretly think but won't say to my face...
is a bit disheartening. Even if it's out of worry, it hurts my feelings that people who supposedly know me well wonder if I truly know what challenge I've accepted...some even think I'll beg to have my old job back. Naive is something I try not to be; although I'm not always successful, a good majority of the time, I'm cognizant of what it means to trade one set of problems for another. I made the trade. I chose this job, and I'm scared and excited for the challenge.


The other thing that makes me sad is that people immediately judge the school and students based on location and past reputation. I have actually been asked if congratulations are in order since it's Pearl Cohn. My response? If you would congratulate someone on taking a new job that is a pay promotion, a good solid challenge, and an opportunity to meet and work with well-trained colleagues, then yes. Congratulations are in order. But please don't wish me well if you don't mean it.

I will miss SCHS dearly because the people there are like family. The emails, comments, lunches, phone calls, etc. have been more than a generous response to my departure. Some of the people I respect the most but never knew thought so highly of me have passed along precious advice and regard for my new adventure. The biggest compliments have come from the students surprised to hear I'm leaving. Not one (and that is not an exaggeration) has questioned my motives but, instead, they've encouraged me and maintained that it's a move fitting for my personality. It's sad to leave the children, but I get to inherit new ones. :)

Regardless of what you think, I know why I'm making a change. So much has transpired since the beginning of May, and I can't even begin to explain it all. I don't need to. Stay tuned. I hear each day will be a helluva story, and those who know me well will expect a blog of follies. Oh man, I can only imagine I'll have them.

1 comment:

  1. I think you're a great teacher. You will be missed, but you are going to a place where you can have a HUGE impact. I taught in a challenging school in Arizona during my first stint as a teacher, and I thank God for that experience every day. Without it, I don't think I would have a balanced view of what teaching really is.

    I noticed that you didn't mention anything about the district you left or the one you're moving into. I'll be interested to learn more about this angle in the future.