Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 19 2011

Leaving my school

So it’s official: I’m leaving my school at the end of the year.

It has nothing to do with my job. I love my kids and I have a good time at school. I’m well supported and would likely have leadership opportunities available to me next year. If I could pick up my school and move it somewhere else, I would. I’m looking for the same exact job in a new place.

I just need to go to another state. I liked Arizona at first, but now I hate it for a long list of reasons that aren’t relevant to a teaching blog. I’m 23 years old and I have nothing tying me here (except my kids, whom I love dearly… but the thing about 8th grade is that they’re all leaving me for high school anyway) so there’s zero excuse not to pack up and go try someplace else. What’s the point in having freedom if I don’t use it?

What’s funny is that one of the things I feel guiltiest about is actually the TFA reputation in my district. Because I’m leaving them, I’m going to go down in history as yet another Two-Years-And-Out corps member, and when they vote to keep TFA or not, I’m going to be part of the statistic they show when they talk about all the money they spend on people who don’t stay anyway. That makes me feel terrible. I want to put a little disclaimer next to that statistic… an asterisk that says “She promises she’s looking for the exact same job with the same population and the same challenges, so hopefully in the grand scheme of things she’s not a huge waste of your time and money,” but I know that I still count as Not Staying no matter where I end up. Sorry, District. I would stay if you would leave Arizona.

Also, I’m more than a little terrified at the possibility of quitting and not finding another job. I just started applying to jobsĀ  last week: I applied to two on Tuesday and three yesterday. Some random non-teachers guessed that I should expect to hear within a week, so I’m already starting to doubt myself because I haven’t heard anything from the first two. (Can I just assume they are busy running schools instead of reading resumes?) I’m pretty convinced that nobody else wants to teach what I want to teach (middle schoolers? math? a seriously underperforming school? hahahahaha) but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t taking those jobs anyway. And just because I want the job doesn’t mean anyone is going to want me. And just because I feel relatively qualified doesn’t mean that states are going to certify me. And just because I’ve done a bunch of things doesn’t mean I wrote a good resume or cover letter. What if I can’t get a job? This thought is literally keeping me up at night… which is why I’m blogging instead of sleeping at 12:15 am.

2 Responses

  1. Aaron

    You might have the freedoms, or should I say privilege, to move to another state in the united states simply on the basis that you don’t like how a state is run (I’m assuming a bit here, as you didn’t explain why the move exactly). Is this the right response to or troubles? When someone is giving so much “freedom” and ability that when they run into a seemingly immovable wall, they simply turn around, instead of breaking it down. My point is, the wall you’ve run into and the reasoning for your leaving is the most important aspect of this decision, and to not explore that is a mistake. Few are given the freedoms you have at your fingertips-i hope you’ve realized this through teaching by now. You have nothing tying you down? But you think that you can just move anywhere in the US? At least perhaps youre tied down by the states. Again, it would being me clarity if you could explore your reasons for leaving. Thank you,

  2. Michelle

    If you are thinking east coast, consider e-mailing a resume to Patterson Park Public Charter School in Baltimore. I am not entirely sure of their needs for middle school next year, but good middle school teachers who do math are hard to find. Send to Dr. Charles Kramer, principal ([email protected]) who is/was TFA Baltimore 1993.

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