This week there were different contractors to work with...and they were delightful. I have to say that I haven't laughed as much in the last several months as I did this past week. It was nice to have a collaborative and supportive environment---it reestablished my belief that there really are people working on the fringes of the educational world who actually make their decisions on what is best for kids. And it shed a very pale and unflattering light on the other environment in which I often work. The very same environment that reached out to me by phone this week to blithely remark that I'm being RIF'ed from it.
I suppose I should be upset, if not by the news than from the graceful way in which this whole event the past few months was handled. Instead, I'm rather ambivalent.
There are no easy truths here. What I can say is that I'll miss about a couple of programs I will not be moving forward with. I'm sad that teachers and kids aren't going to have someone reminding other leaders that we serve them---not the other way around. What's left will likely drive science education to very selfish ends. I find that heartbreaking. However, I am also a bit relieved that I don't have to be dragged down with it. No more waking up in the morning and wondering if I can call in sick rather than have to deal with certain individuals one. more. time. I will be free to speak my mind on any number of topics I have had to mute this year. This can only help teachers and schools make better informed choices. I can once again do what's best for kids, not best for someone else.
So, it is a time of opportunity. I have half a job after June 30 (and full benefits). It looks like I can expand that half into a whole either through the department who still owns half of me...or through another department which has some interests in another area of my skillset. I might also be able to work full-time for a completely different department, moving away from science and into data use and educational technology. Or, perhaps I keep my half-position and beat the bushes for consulting and/or contract work. Maybe now is the time to hit the road with the standards-based grading show.
I am looking for balance at this point---work that fires my passion and time for my home, friends, and self. This is not much different than what other educators are continually seeking. And I am more fortunate than many these days---losing all of their job and benefits. I have choices and options at this crossroads.