Tuesday, February 7, 2012


For a long time, years, I looked forward to the idea of
doing what I do right up until I just can't do it anymore. I
thought I would retire some day, right from the classroom I
have been teaching in the last ten years.

When I began, I was lucky to land where I did. Arguably the

best secondary tech school in Pennsylvania. Some might
dispute that, but I have no doubts for my part.

Three campuses. About 120 instructors, with students from

every public and private school in our county. Back then,
everyone wanted to teach with us, and nobody ever wanted to
leave. It was a team... and we all worked towards the same
goal. For years, we lost perhaps three or four instructors a
year... mostly to retirement.

I can say, without reservation, the people I have worked

with the last decade are the finest professionals I have
ever known.

Two years ago we got a new director, a new administration,

and a new 'direction'. Since then, we have lost over 40
people. Most went to surrounding counties tech schools, with
the rest going back to industry. That's a third of the
faculty... enough to staff an entire campus. Some of those
were damn fine people.

I have watched what's been happening for the last two years,

and taken my own personal hit by the current administration.
I've decided not to pursue the certification and I
have decided this will be my last year with this
institution, and teaching at the secondary level.

Ten years, and nearly five hundred students.... and I would

not trade a second of it. I've worked with the best people
in the world, and had the best students imaginable. I've
outlived two directors, five principals, five adult ed
directors, six vice principals, six disciplinarians, three
curriculum directors, and four student counselors. Through
it all, I maintained my belief in our shared goal, our
mission, our calling.

I'm not certain what the future holds, but I'm sleeping

better since reaching this decision. I love teaching, and
likely I'll stay with it if there is a place for me. If not,
I'm at peace with that as well.


Rev. Paul said...

Sounds like you made the correct decision. Good luck.

WV: motor. Perfect!

Peter said...

It's been my experience that as one door closes, another opens. We just have to keep our eyes and ears open to spot the next door. I'll keep you and your future in my prayers.

WV - 'derms' - darn dem dratted derms!


Old NFO said...

+1 on Peter's comment, I can't say it any better!

velcro8ball said...

Sorry to hear the decision, but happy for you? Is that a contradiction. Doors, windows, and the friend who asks you along on a sales trip, look for all.


trailbee said...

It's Thursday, and I just found this. I am so sorry that things came to such a pass. I feel worse for your students. I began going to Adult School in my 40's, carpentry, upholstery, sewing, gardening, computers. When I retired I started 10 years of college, first Community, then State.
I love school. However, had I not had two very important teachers when I first came to Montreal from Germany, my entire perception of education would have been very different.
You have suddenly come up against an administration staffed by the believers of the dumbing down of America. And it hurts.
I think you are going to find something fabulous, and I envy the people you will touch.
Have you ever read Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford?

Crucis said...

That's a difficult decision all right. I haven't been in your exact situation, but I do know the relief of finally making a decision that will change your path in life.

trailbee said...

It is Mar. 7 and I'm upset again. I had to do an about face without doing it.
But what bothered me more was the lack of welders in CA which prompted the Dept. of Transportation to hire Chinese contractors and workers to rebuild parts of our bridges.
CA does not have anything of worth, and now we're paying someone to come in to do something for us. It is so embarrassing and soul-diminishing.
I thought of you and your decision. So, I'm here, venting. :)
While scrolling, I again saw Mia Love's face and signed up for her email letters. Should be interesting.