I recently took the giant leap and changed school districts. It wasn't my intention to change mid year, but the opportunity presented itself and I decided to take it. I changed from being a special education teacher to a middle school math teacher. I also moved from my affluent, white school, to a low-income, high minority population school.
The change has obviously been a dramatic one. I’m constantly dealing with behavioral issues. My day is so busy I don’t actually eat between 8am and 4pm. I’m trying to teach a complex curriculum to students who don’t come prepared with even pencils. And while I'm constantly dealing with issues like these, there are also amazingly bright spots in my day. There is the student who comes in for lunch everyday and tells me how he wants to apply to the local Math & Science Academy because he knows that is his way to a better life. There are the students that, amidst the craziness, continue to try and listen and do their work and work as hard as they can. And now there is the Title I funding that will allow me to tutor the students that want to improve their math skills so they can apply to the selective enrollment high schools.
These students see that their way to a better life is through education. That is why I changed schools.
Will I survive in my new role? Only time will tell. But for right now I try and think of the students who need me, and that keeps me going back every day.