I'm starting a new job today. After a few years of beating my head against the state policy wall, I'm heading back into a school district.
Oddly enough, I hadn't really thought about looking for a job for this year. For the last few years, I had started perusing job boards in the spring, applying for a few things here or there, and even considering an offer or two. But none of them seemed quite right, and being a woman of a certain age, I'm not interested in having to settle anymore.
Over the past year, I was involved in building a new job for me---something involving effective data use and coaching educators. It was a long haul to get all the pieces in place---support, funding, etc.---to get things ready to roll on July 1. And at the last moment, it mostly fell apart, not because of anything I had or hadn't done; but because of the way decisions get made at the upper levels of the agency.
So, I started looking around again. And lo and behold, there's something just right this time around. I love where I live, and this job requires no move. I get a 30% pay increase, free parking, a corner office (with support staff), and best of all---I get to be in buildings with teachers and kids again. It's an assessment and data heavy job, which is right up my alley. There will be plenty of new things to learn, too, as I take on the realm of CTE, but I am very much looking forward to that.
I'm sad about the other job, which was (and still is) my "dream job" in many ways. When I told people I was leaving, the two comments I got were (1) They didn't treat you right. and (2) You know you aren't the right gender. And, unfortunately, both of those things are true within the context of my former workplace. I have never worked in such an oppressively sexist environment---including the school where the assistant principal told me "You're all right for a girl." It's 2014, is it not? How terrible is it that everyone knows and openly admits this is a significant problem in the workplace and yet nothing changes?
But I can change. I can leave the boys club and make something better for myself and others. It's time for this old dog to learn some new tricks. And I can guarantee you I'll be doing it with a smile on my face.
Happy 2014 - 15 school year, everyone. Be safe out there.