It’s may be a little too early to announce it here, since I haven’t submitted a formal letter to my headmaster.

But I’m leaving my school at the end of this school year. I met with our headmaster and had an amiable talk. We talked about the future of the chapel program here, the nature of boarding school life, the difficulty of this particular population, and the rewards. He was sad to see me go, but he understands my reasons: the need to have more time to find a life partner, maybe start a family.

He did not let me off without criticism. He pointed out that I do many good things but that my methods of teaching this population are not always effective. Ouch, but OK. That the integration in my classes this year hasn’t been as much of a success as I hoped and planned. Ouch! Painful to hear but alas! Accurate.

He also offered appropriate praise and promised an excellent and positive recommendation.

I want to make clear to my readers both present and future that I’m not being forced out. I’m leaving of my own accord; I was offered a contract for next year, I’m just deciding not to take it. There are other things I’d like to do, in addition to being a teacher and blogger and philosopher. Right now, I don’t get to pursue them as much as I’d like.

I have a couple of irons in the fire. There’s a few schools I’m eyeing, and that are eyeing me. My headmaster thought I had potential as a speaker and consultant. My students have been telling me for years that I should be teaching in high school, or college. Maybe they’re right.

But a few interviews and lots of buzz do not a job make. Any of these possibilities could fall through. It could be that I’m setting myself up for failure here, or that this September will be the first time since 1994 that I will be without a classroom.

Yet I’ve said before that teachers need to learn to be more risk-taking and more failure-prone, especially when it comes to technology. If we don’t try new things, we get comfy in our classrooms and take fewer risks.

Today I’m taking a risk. As of today, I’m out of work on June 7, 2010.

What do YOU think I should do next?

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    • Dear Sylvia,

      I appreciate the good wishes. I’m pretty sure I’ll keep blogging. I’ve been blogging for longer than I’ve been teaching. So it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll stop now.

      Sent from my iPhone

  1. Andrew, congratulations. I’m so happy to hear about your decision to move forward in your life and your career. As someone who made the same decision a few years ago, you will be astonished by the weight that is lifted off your shoulders and by the freedom you will have to be a TEACHER first and foremost. Whether you’re in a classroom, delivering a lecture, or offering advice to other professionals, your intelligence, insight, and humor will enhance the lives of other people in ways that you have never experienced at your current school.

    You will certainly miss some of your colleagues and many of the students. You will not miss the junior boarding school life. I can absolutely guarantee that.

    Enjoy your last month. All of the stuff that used to annoy you — dragging yourself through nights and weekends on, covering study hall, supervising movies and the gym, covering the fields on weekends, living your life according to that damned bell — won’t annoy you anymore. In fact, I think you’ll start to find a lot of it charming.

    I’ll do my absolute best to come to graduation this year. I look forward to seeing you be recognized for all of your contributions to this school community. Again, congratulations!

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