>Should I Stay or Should I Go?

>Stream of consciousness from 1/10/11:
Last week was very difficult emotionally since they told us Tuesday that there would likely be staff cuts.  My initial gut reaction, though, was that I wished I could be laid off and I think there is some truth in my desire to leave.  It’s hard being away from my friends and family, which I think does not motivate me to lead a very balanced life.  On the other hand, it is only my first year here and I don’t want to jump ship too soon.  I like my co-workers and the academic freedom I have here.  I like the kids but not the students most of the time, if that makes any sense, and if I could focus on the mentoring, counseling, and advocacy part of my job that I enjoy so much without so much policing and babysitting, I think I’d be a lot happier.  So I can either find a slightly different role in which to work with the same kids, or else find (or make?) a classroom situation that requires less management.  I know that I would like to be closer to home, and I am fortunate that I can literally afford to be choosy about my job.  I’m just not sure I have the right to be, and I think there’s a sense of obligation to my students that gives me pause.  There is so little consistency in their lives and I don’t want to be yet another person who abandons them.  They need someone to show them love and kindness, a place to find freedom and safety, and God has given me His authority to do that in the classroom by giving of myself.  But if I’m not being fed and nourished myself, I have nothing to give.  There are children everywhere who need the same things, so it’s not necessarily wrong of me to go somewhere my needs can be better met.  Is that Columbus?  Is that Winchester?  Elsewhere?  That remains to be seen.

Discussion:
I am about 95% certain that I want to move back to Columbus, and that 5% is really just fear of change rather than any strong desire to stay.  It’s telling that I can’t really imagine what the district could say or offer that would change my mind, though I am certainly not ruling it out.  I think that if a good opportunity in Columbus presents itself, that is where I will be headed.  And I do not feel like a failure or that this year will have been wasted.  I have grown immensely professionally and personally, and I believe that God is present in every situation, though my emotions may often tell me otherwise.  I’m currently looking into all sorts of options in Columbus: part-time informal teaching, adjunct faculty at community colleges, charter/STEM schools, traditional classroom teaching, educational program development, it’s all on the table right now. Decision-making is always a terrifying prospect for me, but I guess it’s better to have choices than not.

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