Sunday, November 12, 2006

Where have all the teachers gone?

I was discouraged during our afternoon class on November 11th when it was revealed by a show of hands that very few second-years in MTC are planning to stay in secondary teaching. Yes, the gulag that is the first stretch of the year is in full gut-wrenching force, but I was shocked nonetheless by the notion that next year only a handful of us would still be teaching 7-12.

What happened?

I am not surprised that many of us are chomping at the bit to leave Misssissippi. After all, the majority of us have no family members living in a 1000-mile radius. But I thought people would be moving closer to home to teach, not shifting career gears completely. Maybe I thought this because that is what I plan to do next year: move back to New England and teach in the public schools of Boston or somewhere nearby.

I plan on taking full advantage of my masters degree next year and in the future. I look forward to the pay hike I will enjoy, first with a graduate degree and second with a relocation. Why aren't other MTCers sharing this ambition? Have their teaching experiences been worse than mine (I doubt it, or at least they've done a good job of hiding it)? I am lucky in that I have a REAL TEACHING MACHINE, Jess Wysopal, across the hall from me. This woman is a pillar of strength and integrity, and we feed off each other's teaching moods on a daily basis. Perhaps that is why we were among the minority of hands that popped up when Prof. Barb asked who planned to stay in the profession.

I have no doubt that the people in our program will be successful in whatever venture they pursue. It just saddens me a little to know that the venture will probably not be teaching.