Now, don't get me wrong. Teaching was a blast! But, with my recent move to New Brunswick, there's been lots of learning to do and great people to meet.
The first thing I learned is that there are a lot of really great people who are responsible for public school teaching. Not only were the teachers great, but I also met some fine principals and vice-principals. They were hard workers themselves, but always took time to be encouraging to me. While there seem to be many who slam the people (teachers, principals) in our current educational system, you won't find me doing that.
The third thing I learned is that school *systems* are different. The most obvious place these difference show themselves is in the hiring policies and procedures. In Nova Scotia, I saw a posting, applied for my job, was the successful candidate, and after two years I owned my job. Later, if I wanted to move, I could view the postings, apply for a specific posting, and (if successful) own that new position until I chose to move or retire.
I still have yet to understand the New Brunswick system, but these few things I have learned.
- There's no requirement for jobs to be posted. In June, July, August or even September, teachers who have "D with Recall" are simply phoned or emailed about an available position, and are then (with or without an interview) placed into that position for the next school year.
- Once you do manage to get a "B" (a.k.a. "permanant") position, there is no guarantee that you will be able to move to another position, if and when one becomes available. In reality, you submit a "transfer application" to the school district, and hope for the best!
To add to all these systemic difficulties, the downturn in the economy combines with a drop in population, and the number of new hires decreases even more!
So, while I greatly enjoyed meeting the talented people who teach and lead teachers, it is overwhelmingly obvious to me that I'm now looking for a new career.
The best part of this is that I had an "old" career in information technology (I.T.) and loved working there. When I left, it was because I couldn't find work and teaching provided that. (How ironic!) I suppose I had always wanted to be a teacher, and so I enjoyed every bit of it.
So, to those who remain in the public school system (or trying to get in), the best of luck to you all. And, should you have the joy of teaching my kids, please treat them well! :-)
To those who work in I.T. in Fredericton, New Brunswick, I look forward to meeting you. I'll probably be starting out at the "bottom" again, and I'll be quite happy to be there. After all, there's usually less homework at the bottom.... :-)