When I was in the 5th grade, I wanted to become a teacher or a lawyer, primarily because I talk a lot, and both of those professions would allow for me to do that AND make people listen. A not so secret about me is that I change my mind, a lot. Over the course of the past 27 years, I have changed my mind more times than I can count about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a back up dancer, a lobbyist, business owner, social worker, fighter pilot, and camp director ( wait, I still want to be that one).
Shortly after graduation I began working with hard to serve youth, (parenting, drop outs, ect) while there, I found that most of these kids were being failed by the schools due to learning challenges that were not being met. I decided then that I wanted to become an urban high school teacher. Specifically, I wanted to be a special education teacher.
I spent last year working at a public charter school in the heart of Washington DC. Where I had a direct supervisor whose only joy in life, was finding ways to for me to enjoy my life less. I felt my school was only offering a disservice to the students (forcing grade changes, lack of consequences are just a few examples) I was beaten down. With no regrets, I left after one year.
And then I sold out, I recently started working at a private Montessori school. I feel very morally conflicted. I like my job a lot. I enjoy this style of learning, the staff is very friendly, and the administration is supportive. But, not only am I not working as high school teacher, it is neither public or urban. I feel that I have crossed over to the dark side.
I do work primarily with students with learning disabilities and the Montessori method allows for students to access content at their level so at least I am still serving those students. But I still feel like an educational sell out.