Current/Recent Reading List

04 December 2006


I do get the occasional itch to look at teaching positions at other schools. This is a group-therapy moment for me, by the way, to admit that. See, I've always had this annoying predilection for over-loyalty, and I'm not saying that to indirectly earn acclaim from my millions of readers. I get comfortable, I know what to expect, and I try hard to ignore even the possibility of other... er... possibilities. This is a marvelous trait for a good marriage, by the way, but not always for other areas of life. Before I got into teaching, I stayed at a boring desk job for about three years too long, and was often miserable as a result.

Five years ago, when I decided to start teaching, I had six weeks worth of vacation to get by on, and then nothin'. I didn't think finding a position in the heavily populated Wake and Johnston county areas would be hard, but I didn't understand that 1) English teachers are not in huge demand compared to those in other disciplines, and 2) the nicer, richer schools won't go for lateral-entry teachers when already-licensed ones are available. Plus, there is the usual insider-hiring that goes with every profession. So, when my little school offered a job, I determined the driving distance was okay, and jumped at it, needing a salary and all.

It's been a blast, and I've gotten real comfortable there. In fact, short of me violating an ethics code, there's probably little I could do to wear-out my welcome. But there is a slight sacrifice in pay, as well as in convenience, compared to teaching at a couple of high schools that are closer to home. Those schools are three times as large as mine, and one of the true charms of my current situation is that I get to know the kids really well - I see them, almost literally, every day. The biggest drawback, however, is that the majority of the kids I teach simply have no ambition beyond getting a job in their home area and staying there. This is quaint and touching, but it doesn't do much to spark imagination or a healthy competitive streak. Out of 28 kids in my current honors class, I can only think of three or four who, right now, are open to the possibility of attending a major university, or of expanding their horizons (horrible cliche, btw, but I'm short on time) in any substantive way.

Just one county over, the county I live in and that my son goes to school in, things are much different. And so, sometimes, I get that itch.

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