Thursday, November 30, 2006

Then And Now: My Working Life

I teach in a community college, as most of you know, and I just want to say. . . . it's the most fantastic place I've ever taught.

It's clean and well-designed and all of the windows are intact and the restrooms always have toilet paper and hot water. Seen from the highway, it's a beautiful jewel of a structure. Seen close up, it's even better.

I have never yet met an employee who isn't happy with his or her job here.

There is support from 'above.' SUPPORT! My immediate boss is intelligent, funny, and fair. She understands how it is. Even though she is an administrator, she still teaches a full load of classes. Maybe if all administrators still had one foot in the classroom. . . . but I digress. If there is a deadline I'm supposed to meet, or a report I'm supposed to file, she tells me when these things are expected and then she leaves me alone because she trusts me to perform. And I do. She's the best 'boss' I've ever had. The BEST.

When I am at school, I feel trusted and fully supported. I know that if I need assistance in any way, all I have to do is ask and it will be done.

My classroom this semester has an overhead dvd/vcr/computer projector!!!! All the rooms have them!!! No more crowding a lot of people around a little tv set!!!

The philosophies and rules of this institution are infinitely fair and intelligent. The faculty and staff are frequently asked about our ideas for the school's improvement. When we reply, people listen. THEY LISTEN TO US!!!

The majority of the students are here to learn and improve themselves and increase their chances of getting a good job. Sure, there are a few slackers, and admittedly, those slackers make for some good blog posts. But most of the students? Good, hardworking, intelligent people, and I admire them tremendously.

Free parking!

Before I was hired here, I knew nothing about a community college. I knew nobody who'd been to one. Hub had been teaching here, in the evening after his full day at the local high school, for several years, but I was always too busy with my middle school job to attempt anything else. I seldom even asked him about it. I knew nothing but the public school, and its "happenings" were the only life I knew.

Now, I wonder how I ever thought that public school was a good place. When a person has only been exposed to one kind of ANYTHING, how can any person have a valid opinion about it?
Realizing that fact gives me a better perspective on students. It also convinces me further that a good education encompasses more than textbooks and tests. A good education will expose a student to as many different points of view and experiences as possible.

A good occupation will do the same.

I love my life now. I thought I loved it before but honestly? I was just used to it. I didn't know anything else. Now I do. Now, I can make some comparisons. And speaking comparatively, the old life isn't smelling like a rose.

I did take a $40,000 pay cut but even so. I'd rather be poor than be a part of the public school's NCLB idiocy, and put up with administrators who are all sucking out of one common brain cell, and that one ain't very smart.

But this new life? Mmmmmm, wonderful!
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:01 PM | |


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