I had an interview today at a Title I middle school a few blocks east of my current assignment. This school serves basically the same community as mine, but is a bit further outside of West Baltimore.
When I got to the school I noticed there were no kids running wild in the halls. There was no gang grafitti on the walls. There were soap dispensers in the restrooms. People were smiling. There was music coming out of the auditorium. Nobody was yelling. There was student art work--current student art work--in the display cases, and hanging on the walls.
I was interviewed by a panel of 8 women. They were no-nonsense, and didn't ask the standard "strengths and weaknesses" questions. They questioned me for 45 minutes, then offered me the job. I told them I would get back to them by the end of the week. I don't know that I want to teach 7th grade next year, even at a nicer school. But I know now I have an option if I choose to flee Booker T. "Our sixth graders are off the chain here," the principal told me at the new school. "We need someone who has handled their business at Booker T. to take charge of these kids next year."
Ha. Handled their business! The only sixth graders I saw at her school today were politely standing in line in the hall with their teacher. You can't get anyone in line at Booker T. And politeness? Ha.
I also have an interview at a charter high school on Friday. If they offer me that gig I'm definitely going to take it.