There is a brand-new opening for an administrative position at my school next year. It’s the charter school equivalent of an Assistant Principal – major school-running duties, teacher support, and primary control over discipline.
As the current Teacher Leader at my school, I’m sort of the logical next-in-line. I already run weekly meetings, support with discipline, create and run behavior plans, delegate responsibilities, oversee big grade-level projects, badger teachers who don’t get work done, and even run a couple low-level suspensions per week in the back of my classroom. In the first day the job opening was announced, five people encouraged me to apply for it.
Part of me really wants this job. I’d get to stay in all my kids’ lives rather than moving up with some of them and passing the others to a new teacher. I’d also get to know all the new incoming kids. I’d get to focus my attention on the big problem kids, who are always my favorites. I love my Teacher Leader responsibilities, and this would basically be a huge expansion of those. I’d get to help make sure my school doesn’t get overrun with discipline problems as it expands, which would mean my kids would keep getting the great education they’re getting while the school is small this year. I’d get to interact more with families, which I really like, and I imagine having a Spanish-speaking administrator would help many of our Hispanic families feel more welcome in the school. I’d get to directly support all of the math teachers, so I could keep a big hand in curriculum. I wouldn’t have to do planning late every night and do photocopying early every morning. Since my end goal is to get into education policy, I’d gain a valuable administrator perspective. I’d get paid more. I’d get more time to observe in classrooms and help struggling teachers. It’s looking like my school’s going to have trouble finding someone, and I’m terrified we won’t be able to hire anyone good. It would be a big challenge but I think I could at least be okay at it. I’ve been doing well in teaching, but I’m also plateauing and haven’t been pushing myself on the little details. In this, I’d gain a whole new skill set and learn an enormous amount every day.
And then part of me doesn’t want the job. I love teaching and am finally getting really good at it. I love math and creating curriculum. I love the relationships I’ve been building with my kids. I love the idea of looping up to seventh grade with them. I’m deeply happy in my job and actually look forward to going to school in the mornings. The work I do feels right and meaningful and Good in a big way. I change lives. I feel like I owe it to the world to teach for longer than I have. I feel TFA-guilt over leaving the classroom too soon. I’m terrified I’ll walk away from a job I love but then life will get in the way and I’ll never go back to it. I never intended to teach forever, but I’ve been telling everyone I’d keep doing it until I stopped loving it, and I’m not there yet. I never considered administration. Could I keep writing this blog?
Oh, help. I know I need to just apply and see what happens, but even starting the application would be a big step. I’m not normally this torn over what I should be doing next.