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.