Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Asking the right question about prep school teaching.

As I mentioned in earlier posts, the decision to jump from the tenure track to prep schools is not always an easy one. As I have discovered to my peril, this is true from a practical perspective (I tried to jump but my feet seem glued in place) but emotionally as well.

The question to which I kept returning is, "Do I really want to teach at an independent school?"

I took this question to my dad, who recently retired after thirty years of teaching English at an independent on the East Coast. He knows the job, he knows me - who better to consult? He wondered if I was asking the wrong question, and suggested that the question I need to ask is, "Do I want to teach at this independent school?"

While this may serve as a testament to my dim-wittedness, I was floored. Of course I should not have been - it has been over a year since I rejected the question, "Do I really want to teach at the collegiate level?" as far too broad. I do teach at the collegiate level, but I don't like doing so at Regional State University.

Reframing the question put to rest much of the angst I'd been feeling, for I no longer had to make a huge decision without truly knowing what I was deciding. I could simply make smaller decisions as they presented themselves.

While this change might be a problem in the long-term - what if I never find the right school? - in the short term it is incredibly freeing. An interview no longer engenders an existential crisis, but presents a specific question. So it's not a breakthrough in the search, but it does help with the emotional side of things.

Good luck, us.


Anonymous said...

Good Luck indeed. What ever happened to the job search? Staying in Academia for another year? Looking for a different career alltogether?

Anonymous said...

I, too, would love an update on your prep school search!

Anonymous said...

FYI: Ben found a great prep school position and left academia in 2011!

research paper writing service reviews said...

Hey there, I truly appreciate your insights regarding asking right question about prep school. I think by preparing all of these questions nicely anyone can have good in the academy.

top dental schools in the world said...

On the other hand, they are expensive, admissions directors are often suspicious of them and you can certainly find a school yourself. This article explores the pros and cons of hiring a kindergarten or nursery school admissions consultant.