October 5, 2010 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

Perhaps the primary thing that motivated me to burn my other bridges and accept the job at CHS was that I really connected with the CEO. He seemed to be that rare (in my experience) combination of smart, passionate, warm, funny, and driven. We saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things, and I knew – particularly after my chilly interview at Suburban School District’s RHS – that this was a man I’d like to work with.

Nevertheless, last year was rough. More than once, I had conversations with myself about whether I wanted to stay at CHS another year. The conversations usually ended with the acknowledgement that there weren’t likely to be openings anywhere else, and that I really didn’t want to move my books again so soon.

Then I had a sit-down with H (the CEO) for my end-of-year evaluation, and our conversation inspired and/or guilted me into wanting to stay. He told me how much he valued me, how much good I was doing, and that they had been lucky to find someone like me who could do so much good for our struggling population of students. I still wasn’t sure that I’d make CHS my “forever-for-now home,” but now I wanted to come back. Anyone who thinks flattery doesn’t work is a fool.

This summer, we thought CHS was going to hire Mr. Bees. I figured, in part, that they’d know that hiring Mr. Bees would cement my decision to stay here longterm. But there were politics, and Mr. Bees wasn’t hired. I was angry for several days, spitting venom about how they’d just made my (eventual) decision a lot easier.

Then school started, and I remembered that I basically love this school.

And now, H is leaving us. He’s taken a position in California to help with his ailing parents, and it’s clear that he’s heartbroken about it, but what are you going to do? I haven’t gotten a read on the new guy yet, other than the impression that he’s a very good administrator and a very conservative person – not necessarily a problem. But I’m sad that H is leaving. I’m not sure if I took a job with CHS so much as I took a position with H, and that’s going away. I don’t know what will fill the gap.

I guess it does make an eventual decision, if there’s ever one to make, that much easier. I love CHS, but it’s not a 100% perfect fit. The commute is tiresome and will get dangerous in a month or two. I’m still not a good social fit, for whatever reason, and with every passing day I realize the extent of the differences in our educational backgrounds. (Case in point: my fellow English teachers don’t seem to know whether end puncutation goes inside or outside quotation marks.) If Mr. Bees can get a position closer to home – please God, any position – then the temptation to look myself will become very strong.

Plus – and this is me pushing myself to be honest here, so forgive me – while I do think I’m doing a lot of good for these kids, this isn’t what I feel I ought to be doing. This is a tough demographic. Far more of my kids will be in the military or in prison after high school than will go to college. They’re not motivated to work hard, and their parents don’t value education. I love helping them, love the idea of making their future brighter, but I know I have a real gift for working with TAG/GATE kids, and I miss that level of interaction and that sense of doing something. I don’t like coming home from school and having a lessened opinion of humankind.

Perhaps worst of all… I made the mistake of looking at some pictures from my LMS days, and it broke my heart. Five years ago, I would have guffawed vigorously at the suggestion that I would miss teaching middle school so much. Vigorously.


Not much point to this post. There’s no transition for me to make, other than a mental one where I accept that I don’t have to put down roots here. I do that, you know. Feel an obligation to stay, the need to put down roots and commit to an employer. And I don’t need to do that. It’s okay.

Anyway… H’s farewell party is in twelve minutes, so I’m off.


Entry filed under: BRAINCLOUDS, MR. BEES.

Hyperbole is the Best Thing Ever – But Perhaps Not Suited for Questioning Sophomores Defining “Dumb”

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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