After 21 years in public education, after teaching English, supervising teachers, integrating technology, advising the yearbook, starting a student environmental group, coaching softball, basketball, soccer and gymnastics, running student counseling groups, chairing sabbatical committees, ed tech committees, professional development committees, serving on hiring committees, being public information officer, mentoring new teachers and goodness knows what else, today I notified my superintendent that as of May 15 I would be leaving the district for parts somewhat unknown.
To put it simply, I quit.
This was not an easy decision: great job working with great people at a great school doing fun stuff with technology just three years away from bennies for life vs….um…something else. More than a few have questioned my sanity. But here is the undeniable truth in all of this: my brain, for better or worse, is more in the blog than in the building. For the past year and a half, I’ve been basically working two jobs, missing my kids, frustrating my wife more often than she deserves, feeling like I am less and less effective in what the taxpayers are paying me to do. Something had to give. Add in a pinch of growing distate for public school practice in general, and a serious yen for the time to tap into the creativity that the Web now holds, and at the end of the day, I really didn’t have much choice in the matter.
Despite the butterflies, I feel incredibly lucky that I have been given this chance. I’ve made the point here many times that in large measure, blogging has changed my life. That still sounds somewhat strange to say, but I can’t deny it. The learning and writing that I’ve done and the connections I’ve made over the last four-and-a-half years would not have happened sans blog. Now I’m not naïve enough to suggest that what the blog has wrought in my life translates to everyone else’s. Nor do I hold out much hope of making a living as a learner…er…I mean, blogger, though I have to say, that might be nice. Nor do I think blogs will save the world, education, or (insert your noun here.) But there is energy and a potential in this tool (and the others) and in these connections that for me, at least, is incredibly intriguing. One thing is clear: something important is happening. I’m not sure yet what it means for the world or for education or (your noun). But I am sure what it means for me.
There is much to learn.
So what comes May 16th? Not sure, really. More reading, writing, parenting, husbanding time. More and better blogging, and more blogvangelism, I hope. Another book, or two, perhaps. New connections. Another path, one that I hope leads to satisfying, engaging, urgent work. Urgent work. Or something completely unknown.
This much I do know. We need to get everyone, and I mean everyone access to the knowledge and people and ideas that now make up the Web. Educators need to be a part of this evolution, and maybe the revolution, too. I don’t yet have a clear idea what role I can play in that, but now, at least, I’ll be open to it should it come.
Wish me luck…tonight I tell my wife…;0)