Since I've started my teaching career, and especially in the last three years at my current school, I have taught and been involved in a multitude of resume fattening opportunities. I have taught sheltered, special education, honors, expelled, and regular education courses in seven subjects. Training in ESL, MYP, and Constructing Meaning have given me some credit hours and tools for teaching. I have been assistant department chair, department chair, and union representative. My test scores and relationships with administration and teachers are exquisite, even though I believe test scores are meaningless numbers; "Fuzzy Math" according to George. Best of all, I'm still young and cheap to hire. Next year my school is offering me their final fat opportunity, IB.
The International Baccalaureate program is similar to AP in that they are challenging courses, taught at a very high level. If a student passes an IB exam they will receive college credit. The IB program offers almost a whole year of college credit if the student is able to pass the very difficult examinations. My school decided I should teach the senior level History of the Americas course, meaning I would be the final step for those students. That is a very big responsibility. My students from last year are already excited at the possibility of having me as their teacher again. To top that all off, the district will fly me to Lake Tahoe for training this summer. I had told my administration I would never volunteer to take on that extra work and responsibility if I still had 6 classes and 3 preps again. I hope to bring that down to two preps, and with the new schedule for next year, 5 classes. Administration wants me to keep teaching 10th grade Honors US History, so the students are ready for IB. That would be my ideal schedule. Hopefully that can happen.
My dilemma is deciding on whether I want to stay. Why stay in a district that values its employees as little as mine. This is the age when teachers pick their district, when you are young, marketable, and won't lose many salary years in a move. I have two teachers that are going to be principals next year. One may even be starting a charter school. Wouldn't it be nice to have the backing of administration, and not have to defend yourself from parents and bosses at the same time? I hate charters. But I also hate being treated like an automaton by the district. The only thing keeping me at my school are the kids. In no other school do you have the kind of opportunities to change lives. I shall have to wait and see how the chips fall second semester.