Sunday, November 21, 2010

Self-Assessment

This year marks my 4th in B'more City as a public school teacher. The first year was as a student teacher/trainee. Because I went through the GEI program and the City paid for my certification and 2nd Master's Degree, I was obligated to them for three years of service. That obligation will be up next June.

This year I'll face an enormous decision: should I stay or should I go? Yes, I'm in a much better environment now than previously. Yes, I love the kids and want to help. But teaching is not my passion. Teaching is something I do because I need a paycheck. Sometimes I'm good at it, sometimes I'm not very good at all, and occasionally I might be great. But I don't have the calling.

I leave work each day dragging my ass. I've worked construction jobs, retail jobs and restaurant jobs where I regularly put in 50 to 60 hour weeks on my feet, and I've never been so exhausted when I walk out the door. On the weekends I don't want to stir from the bed, and I can barely get through planning and grading without naps, let alone socializing or exercising or taking weekend trips. I feel weariness down to my bones. I've let housekeeping slide and barely have time for the things which sustain me: books and my wife. I haven't touched my guitar in months.

I don't know what my calling is, but I'm sure I can't ever go back to a desk or cubicle job. I'd jump out the window! Perhaps I should accept that I need some sort of career at this point, and even if I don't feel it in my heart I can at least do teaching fairly well and help some kids. But should I do that in B'more, or should I go into the Peace Corps, or onto a reservation, or should I jump up to high school level and get away from the middle schoolers?

I've got almost a year to think about it.

4 comments:

earth dragon said...

I know what you should do.

You are the quintessential erudite college professor. The college classroom is the perfect platform for you, and, possibly, where you can work with the most freedom.

You should get your PhD. You've already got experience.

You could probably land a university position in France.

Nyarlathotep said...

Ha--flattering, but not true. I don't know if I've got the patience or the chops to do a PhD at this stage. Not to mention the financial strain of working for a stipend for 3 or 4 years!

ellen cherry said...

I want you to write a book. And I want to be your publisher. And before that, I want us to create and complete the graphic novel that we talked about this summer. (I already have some ideas of illustrators) See, just like that, I've planned it all out for you!

Anonymous said...

your old. suck it up and stop cryin'