Making Major Change

This is my 16th year at my school. In that time I’ve taught three different grades, looped twice, taught our gifted and talented class, taught students with IEPs and students learning English. I’ve learned so much about teaching, school, students, and life. I work with the most amazing people. (That’s truly not an exaggeration. I don’t believe there is another staff as good as this one anywhere.)

In spite of all this, I’m planning to change schools. There are many different reasons for this. I feel that 16 years is a long time at one place and I need to move in order to grow. My oldest daughter is finishing her years at my school so it seems like a good time. And I’m terrified. Oddly enough that is one more reason for me to go, in my mind at least. (There are many more reasons, most of which don’t need to be shared.)

This is the only place I’ve ever taught. Prior to this I substituted quite a bit between gigs on a cruise ship and after I left the ship, including one long-term job in a fifth grade. But this has really been my only school. That makes me a lucky one. I landed at an amazing spot from day one.

My goal now is to find the next perfect school. I know I want it to be a Title I school. I’d like the school to have Reading Recovery and a well stocked reading room. In addition, I’d like to find a school that believes in the Responsive Classroom philosophy.

What would you look for in a school? How would you know if you found it?


4 responses to “Making Major Change”

  1. Rachelle Avatar

    Look for an administration you can trust. Who look at what is best for kids and maybe breaks the rules if need be. Where the staff works well together.

  2. Philip Cummings Avatar

    Best wishes on the change, Jennifer. I made my first big change after being at my first school for ten years. It was a great decision, but it was a scary at the time. I hope you find a great new post.

  3. Karen Avatar

    Wow…look for a school where the teachers do the interviewing; there are some wonderful schools down the Rt. 1 corridor….and some truly needy schools out in the Herndon/Reston area. I’m very fond of Hunter’s Woods and Baileys as being placed that really reach out to help kids–but that may be because they are both magnet programs.

  4. jenorr Avatar

    Rachelle, yes, yes, yes. Part of my struggle is how to know if that’s true without actually working there. I will do all I can to talk to teachers as much as possible but I’m worried it will be hard to be sure I’ve found the right administration.

    Phillip, it’s always good to hear positive stories from others!

    Karen, route 1 and Reston/Hendon are not geographically friendly, sadly, I’m not writing those areas off but I’d love to find something closer to home. Seeing teachers as part of the interview team is huge.

Leave a Reply