Monday, June 21, 2010

Once Upon a Time ...

There were three teachers talking about their experiences in teaching.  One teacher had no previous working experience other than student teaching and the current post.  He is hoping to get tenure next year.  The other teacher had taught for more than 14 years.  And the last teacher in this trio, had taught in South Africa.  Her story was so inspirational that it motivated the veteran teacher to explore this idea of teaching overseas a little deeper.

That night, our veteran teacher decided to research the International School Services website and discovered that she could start her documentation and post it to the website right away.  She was hopeful, but at the same time, she had been disappointed before in her teaching career, and she did not want to get too excited about the prospect or even the possibilities of teaching in an environment where her experience and abilities would be sought out and appreciated.

Meanwhile, our other two teachers continued to teach and hope that things would get better for all of them.

Before April 15, the three teachers knew that the environment in the NJ Educational System would change drastically and would not bode well for any of them.  The new Governor made some drastic decisions and funding for Education Programs and Public Library Systems were diminished if not altogether eliminated from schools.  With less funding, it meant, less jobs and larger class enrollments for those lucky enough to survive the first wave of job eliminations.  Their district eliminated 84 positions altogether.  It was looking pretty grim for all of them.

Two of our three teachers survived the job elimination process and without too much damage to their programs.  They understand that their classes will be larger and that resources to teach their students will be very limited to say the least.  Our veteran teacher did not fare so well.  She was asked to work in and manage three buildings, be responsible for instructing over 2000 students, and support over 200 staff members.  She was happy that she had a job, but knew that under this new restructuring of programs she would not be able to do a good job for her students or the staff members that she had come to know in the past six years.  Our veteran teacher would need to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to make something that was educationally unsound and developmentally inappropriate work for both students and staff without causing further damage.  After much thinking and analyzing, she came to the conclusion that to make this work, she would have to do a mediocre job and that was not acceptable to her, although it was acceptable to her supervisors.

During those dark days, our veteran teacher received an invitation to attend an International Recruiting Center Conference in Virginia.  She consulted with her husband and they decided to attend the conference.  They spent the weekend talking to recruiters and interviewing for teaching positions in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

One of those interviews became a possibility and with that newly discovered hope, our veteran teacher felt reinvigorated, validated, and appreciated as a Teacher and as an Educational Leader in her field.  It was the shot in the arm that she needed to get motivated and enthusiastic about the vocation and career that she had embraced so long ago.

Our veteran teacher returned to school and shared some of her experiences of the IRC with a few of her colleagues, including MH, the teacher that taught in South Africa.  All of them at this time have their fingers crossed and hope that our veteran teacher get her wish to teach overseas. 

Until our next adventure,
The Nomadic Librarian

1 comment:

  1. Dear Nomadic Librarian,

    3 paragraphs later in the goosebumps appeared..
    I cannot wait to read about the adventures that await you...