I’m going to a meeting this afternoon that causes my brain to race in so many directions. And, while I’d love to explore all those thoughts, I simply don’t have time to do so.
Basically, the meeting was called by our superintendent to gather the high school department chairs together because our input is soooooo valuable. But, here’s the thing: I decided last November that this would be my last year teaching primarily because our district has consistently disregarded effective communication practices.
Granted there are many reasons leading to my decision to quit teaching. However, I sincerely began this school year with the intention of continuing to teach, at least part time, for as long as I felt my time was well spent. Again, there’s a lot of internal conflict there because I know that there will always be reasons that continuing be a teacher would be time well spent. Suffice it to say that when all extraneous motivators have been removed, and I’m left with the decision of does the time I spend devoted to being a teacher in Racine impact me more beneficially or negatively, I’m afraid I’ve been left feeling more angry lately than valued.
That brings me to this meeting tonight. Simply, I don’t want to go. I’ve made my decision and there’s no point belabor the reasons or defend them. The decision has not been made impulsively. It has been the culmination of sixteen years of experiences and one-and-half years of allowing my mind to separate and process the decision of quitting between because I can and because I want to. But, the line between those two is difficult to describe. And, I fear that attending this meeting tonight, I won’t be able to accurately portray that distinction. I’m worried that anything I contribute will be easy to refute with something along the lines of, “Yeah, well Justin can afford to say that because he can quit his job.” Yep. That’s true. What’s also true is that I have absolutely no idea how I would react to everything that’s happened at work over the past couple of years if that wasn’t the case. There’s a strong likelihood that I’d miserably stay in the situation because I couldn’t afford to quit. But, there’s also a strong likelihood that I would have behaved differently along the way.
Unfortunately, in the end none of that really matters, and I’m left in a place where if I put myself in someone else’s shoes, it’s simply not fair that I can look at all the upcoming transformations and say, “I’m outta here.” It’s not. I believe many of my colleagues would say the same thing if they had the financial security to do so — and that’s a problem. It’s a problem I perceive as being solvable with authentic and effective communication. It’s a problem that I used to be able to articulate much better, but the priority of being able to do so has drifted away. So, I’ll be going to this meeting tonight because I feel that I should — since it is an attempt to involve department chairs in a process of communication. But, I also think that’s all it is: a token action to say an attempt at communication has been made.
In my mind, my contribution to the discussion goes something like this: “This attempt *grunt* *smirk* *sneer* obviously not *shrug*… Screw it. What’s the point?”
Oops. I’ve been watching the clock that’s fifteen minutes slow and have to be running along to work now.