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Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Why don't you try a charter school?"

I have to admit, all the bad news lately about the cutbacks in Arizona's public school districts has gotten me down. I've had thoughts lately of pursuing a different career after I'm done with these courses.

I didn't get called in today to work, which was perfect for me as I had another productive day elsewhere: I gardened for a few hours, read my required reading assignment and then spent most of the afternoon writing my essays. After my third "final draft" copy I took Sadie and Sammy on their three-mile walk around the neighborhood while mulling over what else to write about in my essays. After the walk I returned to my computer to finalize my essay before taking off for my class.

Tonight's class was perhaps the best class yet on this subject (Diversity). The instructor spoke from the heart, not with anger (like he did earlier in the semester) but with passion, and he had me captivated. It didn't matter that he went ten minutes over the class time. He put thoughts into my head that got me thinking. Despite the budget cuts in all the local school districts, why not try charter schools? At least in a good charter school I could pursue my passion for foreign languages. It's definitely worth a try.

Charter schools don't require teachers to be fully certified. But after May I will be highly certified in my area of expertise (German) and could work at any public or private school in Arizona. The problem is that many school districts are cutting back on classes in English, Spanish, German, French because of budget deficits. In a charter school I could also take proficiency exams in my other areas of interest such as history or English without having an advanced degree in those subject areas. As long as I pass the proficiency exams I would be qualified to teach those subjects...

It's all definitely worth looking into more. And there's still that Master's Degree I should get started.

I drove home at 9:30pm to a full moon hazed over by frontal clouds of an impending weekend storm. Weather is supposed to worsen tomorrow over the weekend, with high dangers for both fire and wind predicted. If I can't go on a hike at least I can stay home and write my papers.

Arizona is one of the top states with charter schools. According to the Arizona's Department of Education website, 24% of all public schools are charter schools. Of the 1,148,696 students in Arizona (K-12, 2006), 8.7% are in charter schools.

Arizona is a beautiful state and being here is living my dream. I do not want to leave this state. But I do want to spend the next ten years doing a job I have always loved: teaching. Not to mention that having my summers off is another bonus that means a lot to me. I don't want to live my life regretting not having taken time out to travel.

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