Thursday, June 19, 2008
posted by Q6 at 6:00 AM
I really don't want to go work at this new school.

I'm leaving a school that has 2200 students over six grade levels (7th through 12th). They take AP tests and SAT tests and ACT tests. They drive to school. They leave campus for lunch. They're involved in and endless list of athletics. More than 95% of the homes use technology. I've been there for seven years and, in many cases, I'm the only one parents, students, and teachers will turn to for help (largely because I've seen all the other administrative positions change hands at least once). My fiancee works there, and more than the pleasant idea of carpooling to work, I find comfort in the fact that she's only a few classrooms away if I need to see her pretty face.

I'm going to a school that has 600 students over two grade levels (7th and 8th only). No APs, SATs, or ACTs. They all stay on campus for lunch, and none of them drive. There are maybe four sports in the athletic program. Only an estimated 20% of the homes are on the web.

I'm gonna be bored out of my mind. I'll be asleep all the time. What's more, I got into this gig to work in a high school, and an isolated intermediate school just isn't my thing. (The principal over there, whom I know but not all that well, is a really great guy. Other than that, everything about this school reflects where I don't want to be.)

I've interviewed in another district already, but with no success. Another district has yet to schedule interviews for the two high school assistant principal positions it has open. Yet a third district has an opening I'll apply for by July first. All of these, of course, aren't sure things.

I really don't want to work at this new school, and I really fear that I'm not going to have any choice.


At 7:53 AM, Blogger "Dr" Psych

Well, you know the Desert is always hiring! And the HIGH SCHOOL I work at has technology in every classroom, kids APPLY to be there...its pretty sweet!

Good Luck on your job hunt, any district would be stupid not to pick up a great Admin like you!


At 4:35 PM, Blogger Mr. C

Just because there's not SAT or ACT and only a few sports in the athletic program does not mean that there's nothing for an administrator to do on campus.
I've spent my career in junior high schools, and have NEVER been bored. If you wind up at the intermediate, you'll deal with more discipline, take phone calls from micromanaging parents, sit in on IEPs, do supervision duty until your skin crisps in the sun, and, if you let yourself do so, connect with some kids who really need someone to care about them.
No, it's not high school, and maybe it's not for you. Please, though, don't think it's not important or that you won't be challenged. Too often these kids are relegated to the "who cares?" pile of public education. Too often people look at junior high as a placeholder between elementary and high schools without any real value or importance of its own, and that's not fair to these kids. They are, all of them, in deep turmoil physically, emotionally, educationally, and deserve some respect and consideration.
Please understand, this is not intended to be an attack against you personally: not everyone is "cut out" for junior high. I would feel similar angst if I was being reassigned to elementary school or high school, so I do not intend to criticize you for your reaction to the change. My intention is to point out some common misconceptions regarding junior high school and junior high school kids.
Good luck to you, wherever you end up next year, and don't hesitate to let me know if, should you end up at the intermediate school, you need some encouragement in dealing with the little rugrats.


At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Jude

I subbed at a middle school and saw so many problems that I'd want to fix that I can't see you not finding challenges at the new school. For one thing, the school lunches at the school where I subbed were as unhealthy as any I've seen. They served a diet of hamburgers and white carbohydrates and no one complained. The principal was *hated* by his staff, so the turnover was great with people leaving the *district* to get away from him. I experienced many of the same kids the next year at high school and was amazed at how much they grew up over the summer (although most high school teachers complained about their general immaturity). The ELL program was a mess. It will be fun to read about the challenges you find in your new position, and then when you get back to a high school, you'll have additional knowledge and skills to take back to the more "challenging" position.