Sunday, September 21, 2008

Job Switch

I love being in the classroom. I love standing in front of a classroom full of students and watching their faces as they think about something we're covering in a way they've never thought of before. I also like to think I'm fairly good at my job. I've had numerous students come back to me over the years to thank me for something I taught specifically or for our class in general.
It's these things that have made this weekend a rough one for me. On Friday I was offered a new job, and I've pretty much decided I'm going to take it.
Our school district got a HUGE grant this year from the PA state government called "Classrooms For the Future" (CFF). This grant gives the high school a ton of new technology for educational use in an effort to keep our schools competitive in the global arena. We're getting mobile laptop computer labs, laptops for teachers, overhead computer projectors, and Smart Boards. And in order to make certain that the tech is actually used properly, the grant also pays for a "technology coach"; a teacher whose job is to help the rest of the faculty learn to use the tech efficiently in facilitating learning. I put in my resume for the job early in the month, and Friday my principal came up and said I got it if I want it.
It's a totally lateral move. There's no more pay involve, and I wouldn't be an administrator. They'll get a long term substitute teacher to finish out the school year for me starting in early October. It's technically only a year long position as that's all the grant covers, so at the end of the year I'd go back to the classroom. However, many schools who already have the grant have kept the tech coach on, so there's the possiblity I would be asked to continue in that position next year. Even if the position disappears after the year is up, I don't lose any contract steps or seniority, and I step right back in with no penalties.
I'll miss being in the same classroom all day, especially this year. I really enjoy ALL my classes this year, something I haven't always been able to every year. And I'm not looking forward to announcing to them I'm leaving. But I will still be in the same school and I'll be in and out of the classes across the school, meaning I'll still be seeing and interacting with all of them. One of the best things about the position for me is that while I love teaching, I'm looking forward to NOT spending the hours grading papers.
I figure that even though I don't plan on going anywhere, this is a good resume padder, and quite frankly how many folks are offered the opportunity to try something completely new for a year with no financial risk?
It's going to make for an interesting year.