Tuesday, April 12, 2011
posted by Q6 at 2:33 PM
The conductor spoke up. "I don't think we had any business being sent off on a siding, that switch wasn't working right, and this thing's not working at all." He jerked his head up at the red light. "I don't think the signal's going to change. I think it's busted."
"Then what are you doing?"
"Waiting for it to change."
(Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged)

I recently discovered that some local school districts were accepting applications for Assistant Principals. One, in fact, is a district that I've tried several times to get into. I've certainly got the credentials now to be competitive, if not the favorite, in such searches. And I'm not even gonna send in my resume.

As much as I'd like to change things up for myself career-wise, I've decided that this just isn't the time: the economy's just too precarious to be placing myself back at the bottom of the seniority chain of another district when I've got ten solid years in my current placement; I've got two kids (one 17, one 19) who will still need the security of a working father as their needs for medical insurance, college tuition, and a safety net continue; and if I'm going to make a serious change of career I may as well make the one I want, which is out of the education field altogether, and I'm not ready to do that just yet.

I think the big question is this: Is this red signal I'm staring at going to remain red? Do I wait for it to change, or do I change what I'm doing to compensate? A large part of me believes I can tough it out, that it can't remain this bad forever, and that I can just do my job, smile, and bide my time until conditions improve. (Those who read this blog probably know that the field of education, particularly at the administrative level, is nothing if not political; that makes it unpredictable and, at times, dangerous.) I can't say for sure that I'm making the right decision by staying put and going with the status-quo-flow of things, but I don't have enough security in place to try something risky just yet.

Because I blog anonymously, there are things about my specific community, school site, and school district that I cannot share, lest I give myself away and share information and opinions that would place my employment in jeopardy; let's just say that there are large issues at all three of those levels that cause many of my colleagues to look over their shoulders from time to time to make sure that the 'Professional Grim Reaper" isn't on their heels. Myself included.

I know that it's probably safe to proceed even though the signal is red. I'm just not ready to take that chance just yet.