A teacher I know posted on her blog the other day, and it made me feel both happy and sad. In this post she wrote of a lunchroom conversation at her school in which teachers lamented for "something else." I felt sad, because like them I also yearn for something different; I felt happy as well, because it proved I was not alone in my thinking . . . and for a while I believed I was.
Dare I say I'm starting to get bored with my job? As an Assistant Principal of an affluent, public, high-performing 7th-12th school, how could I possibly get bored? Each day brings a new problem to solve, a new wrong to right, another person to help. I guess you have to be there to understand--riding an untamed mare gets pretty dull once you've broken her. For six years I've been streamlining various parts of this school. Where I haven't been able to prevent the problem, I've been able to reduce it; where I haven't been able to reduce it, I've created more efficient and productive ways of dealing with it. I have managed to have my fingers forced into just about every pie on this campus, and I've got procedures and instructions written (and I've even created better paperwork) for just about everything. While I still have hectic days, those days have more to do with how much I do and not what I have to deal with. If there's a plateau in this profession where nothing seems new and where I've dealt with the same things so many times that I've got them down to a simple science, then that's where I am. So I read this blog post about teachers looking over the fence, and I ask myself:
What if I were to give this up and move on to something else?
While it's not difficult to solemnly ask this question, it is pretty tough to move on to the answer. I may not be addicted to this job or even this profession; I am, however, addicted to things like food and shelter. The fact is that I'm not qualified by education or by experience to do anything else unless I were to go into business for myself in some way, and the uncertainty of paychecks from that source has always scared me off the idea. Like one of the teachers in the story, I, too, dream of writing a novel (three, actually), but until that happens I'll have to remain here to provide for my wife (to-be) and children. At one point I looked toward going back to teaching, but it seems that even the teachers are looking toward other things.
One day I DO hope to find my "Something Else," but until I can make it a reality that sustains my life and family, it will have to remain exactly that: something else.