15 December 2006

Can You Really Go Home Again?

With all of the budget woes in the district and looming cuts, there's been some talk among those of us in Curriculum about whether or not we would feel at home in the classroom again. As for me, I'm down with that. This is my first year out and I haven't completely separated my mind from the task. I actually think that the last few years of experience in Curriculum would make me a better teacher should I go back to the classroom. I've had time to really think about the kinds of things that can and should happen with kids---the sorts of thoughts that full-time teachers don't have the time luxury of delving into nearly as deeply. I've been able to reflect on and work with best practices in all kinds of new ways. A return to the classroom could be just as energizing as the transition away. I've already "built my parachute," so to speak, in terms of speaking with a prinicipal about a job in the building...just in case things don't work out here.

Others in Curriculum are not quite so sure, but then, they've been out of the classroom for several years. Some have looked into becoming admins or investigating other pathways, but their general feeling is that they can't go back to the classroom. This is not to say they view it as beneath them or as a step backwards career-wise, just that they've been out of the teacher mindset for such a long time that it doesn't fit who they are now. Their passions are different.

I am always in awe of the classroom teachers I meet who have been doing that job full-time for 25+ consecutive years. There just aren't that many. Some took time to raise children. Others, like me, have transitioned back and forth between other opportunities. It's rare to find a career educator who has made the classroom their home for decades. I would hope they would welcome the rest of us prodigals, whatever our reasons for coming home again.

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