Wednesday, October 17, 2007
posted by Q6 at 8:10 PM
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.



At 10:16 PM, Blogger OKP

Thanks for the shout out, Q6. I'm sure your WTB and your kids want a fulfilled husband and parent, too.

You're a role model for your kids; perhaps the transition, while difficult in the short run, might be beneficial in the long run, when you see them pursue what they want with confidence.

But I understand about not being ready yet. After all, I haven't blogged about my new profession yet.

I wish you good luck; I hope you make it, instead of waiting for it. I'm sure the WTB will support you, too. Or she's not worth it!


At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

“The fact is that I'm not qualified by education or by experience to do anything else”

Oh contraire, mon frère. In the business world you would be invaluable as a highly paid consultant advising businesses on how to make their processes more efficient and effective. Assuming you’ve got a masters degree in your field, you would be well advised to consider mining your network for contacts in the consulting industry. A few years cutting your teeth as a junior consultant and you’d be primed to be a manager making at least double what a teacher makes. The constant travel is a bitch and so are the hours, but if you really get jazzed by creating significant positive change in an organization over a few years time and then moving on to the next challenge/fixer upper/workout situation, etc. then consulting may be a perfect match for you as opposed to just manning the controls of a well oiled machine that rarely breaks down and which bores you from the monotony and lack of further challenge.

Or, if you want to stay in education, why not join one of those education consulting firms that’s called in to run the show when the state takes over a school system. I know, for example, that St. Louis City school systems are run by such an outside firm since they were taken over, so mine your contacts to see if you can get an interview with them or their competitors. The pay is significantly more as an AP for hire in exchange for traveling every week and being someone who can take on the enormous challenges of fixing a broken school system.

Life’s too short doing something that doesn’t make you happy.

Good luck to ya.