Friday, August 6, 2010

Oh Dear

Anyone who's been a reader of my blog knows I've been M.I.A. for a while (and not the good kind). There are lots of reasons for this, but essentially it boils down to the fact that I wasn't enjoying blogging anymore. I felt that my (former!) school was just heading in such a wrong direction, and that the echo chamber in the comments was getting more and more negative. So I stopped.

I wasn't sure that I was going to ever come back. But then I got this comment on my last post:

Anonymous: Perhaps Harry has gone the way of two of his buds, Dee Does the District and DC Teacher Chic. They've shut their doors and hit the road. Typical TFA behavior, actually, to realize that it takes a lot more than enthusiasm to change things in DCPS and decide to quit for other "opportunities".


I haven't "hit the road." I've transferred to another DCPS High School in a low income neighborhood. So scomp on you.

BUT, I'd like to address this comment on a deeper level. When I was a first year teacher, I was terrified because I had no idea what I was doing. Do you know what I wanted the most? HELP. I wanted someone with experience to take me under his/her wing and give me guidance. Instead, from most of my more experienced colleagues I got polite disinterest, and from a few I got attitudes like the above commenter's. It wasn't until my second year, when the school was zero-based and half the staff was new, that more positive collegial relationships developed (the majority of the new staff were veteran educators, just new to the building).

The reason so many TFA and DCTF and new teachers in general leave DCPS isn't the kids -- it's the adults! A lot of us move to charter schools because we feel more confident that there we'll find administrators and staff that are professional and supportive. I'm lucky enough to have found that within DCPS. But if I hadn't found that here, and I had moved on to other "opportunities," that would not make me a bad person. And if you are a teacher who has moved on to another field, and people are making you feel bad about it, just remember:

Haters Gonna Hate

Anyway, I don't know if this blog post means "I'm back," but I just wanted to update readers and stomp out rumors. Maybe I'll continue to post about what life is like in my new school. Hopefully the posts will be more positive. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!