Wednesday, March 25, 2009

should i stay or should i go?

I found out today that I'm "safe" at my job for one more year. It's still a possibility I might be surplussed (read: sent to teach at another school), but the possibility is slim.


I'm almost thinking about transferring to another school.

Both my teammates (Lynn and Mary) are being surplussed. The surplussed is based primarily on seniority; it can come right down to the date you were hired. The thought of losing them makes me heartsick. This year has been the BEST ever, simply because I am privileged to work with these two amazing teachers. But now Lynn and Mary can't stay, and I don't want to work without them.

After five years, I'm comfortable at my school. My colleagues respect me. When my name came out as one who might be cut, a lot of them reached out to me to tell me I was "too good" to be let go. My boss respects me and treats me fairly. In fact, I think she has a bias toward me and treats me better than she does others.

So why leave?

Well, for one, I have a great team and if we can create the option to go somewhere else together, it's worth examining. I don't know about the possibility of us still teaching together, but we have some leads.

Secondly, the schools that would be able take us in this budget crunch would be "turnaround" schools, meaning, schools in poor neighborhoods with mostly African American and Hispanic populations. Right now, I teach mostly privileged white kids. I know I make a difference wherever I teach, but the opportunity to make a larger impact might be at another school. It's also an opportunity to challenge myself and take myself out of my comfort zone.

Lastly, I'm just plain sick of my administration. For the past three years, the opening of school is disastrous. For the past three years, people I look up to as teachers were given shoddy reviews. For the past three years, we've been waiting for them to get their act together!! It's beyond ridiculous at this point.

However, I might lose up to $2500 by transferring. Right now I serve as the "Assistant Athletic Director" (stop laughing, I'm a glorified coach's secretary) and I make a nice supplement. I don't know if my supplement will still be available to me next year, but if it is, the money is nice! Also, there will be a new high school opening in 2010-2011. If I transfer, I won't be eligible to transfer again for another three years. Meaning, if I really don't like it at the new school, I have to stick it out until 2013.

So, I mean, I don't have a reason to go besides just wanting to try something new. What do you think? Should I stay or should I go?


pretty amazing grace said...

This is a tough one! I'd say go on some'll get a better sense of what to do once you have more information to go on. If you get a really good feeling about a school and/or principal, it might be worth the risk. I taught poor minority students in a portable my first two years, and that experience remains one of the closest to my heart. I had a feeling during that interview that school would be the first one I ever worked at. All you can do is go with the best available option, but you can't do that until you truly know your choices. So get out there and explore your options! It will all work out!!! :)

emilysuze said...

From my experience, if you have an administration that likes you and treats you well, stick with them unless you know for sure that your new administration will be just as great. I understand wanting to stay with a team of teachers that you work well with, but moving to an even crappier administration will make life miserable.

I think it's going to be a tough decision no matter what. But you are one smart cookie, so you will figure out what is best for you. :)