18 February 2006

The Grass is Always Greener

There are several curriculum specialists in my office. Some are unique to a particular content area (like me). A few are "general." This is the time of year when budgets for next year are decided and no one is ever truly sure if their position is secure. But this is the first time I've heard people indicate that they might not mind getting chopped from the budget.

When I was in the classroom, I often thought things would be just fine if I could shut my door and teach. If I didn't have to deal with all the bureaucratic nonsense generated by the office...the interruptions caused by field trips and assemblies...the seemingly endless meetings---if I could just be with the kids and focus on that, life would be sweet.

Several people in Curriculum are starting to feel the same way about their jobs. There are so many imposed variables---state mandates, expectations handed down by the Boss Lady, miscellaneous crises to manage---that doing what you really want to do in your job is rarely possible. Or fun. I'm still finding a lot of room to do what I see best, but I wonder how long that will last. Will the classroom look as appealing as it now does for several of my co-workers?

The bottom line is that we all have hard jobs. And although I thought classroom life would be better if I could close the door to the outside, I think I was wrong. It's only by opening my classroom in the last couple of years that I've been able to enrich my teaching. I've liked having visitors. It's been energizing to develop and implement some common plans. Some things---like interruptions---will never change. But there are ways to make other parts of the classroom load lighter.

I don't know that the same thing will happen in Curriculum. We do share our work and talk about different projects, but the ideas are always so big: they impact a district, not just the students in a classroom. Maybe that is one of the reasons why the grass looks greener outside of Curriculum. It's just a smaller patch to manage.

No comments: