July 5, 2019

Dreaming and Deliberating

In May I announced I was starting a job search. Since then I've had lots of time to think more deeply about what I want to do. The big things are still true:

  • My values are community and making a difference.
  • I'm only looking at jobs I can do remotely or commute to from Salem, MA.
  • I'm trying to cast a wide net as I consider options and opportunities.

The other things I've refined:

I believe in the power of a public education. Public schools are essential to the kind of society I want to live in. Our current public school system is broken. I spent over a decade working within the system, and I just can't imagine going back to that right now. I miss having students, I have so many ideas I want to test out, and I really want to see what the curriculum I spent the last year and half writing feels like from the teacher perspective. However, I don't want to be part of a testing culture that prioritizes compliance or graduation rates over students as human beings. And I just don't have any faith left that a local public school is doing that. Alternative public or semi-public schools (thinking ones for students with disabilities) fit within my realm of acceptable options, charter and private schools are off my list. I need to learn a bit more about how necessary a PhD is for the variety of college teaching options that exist.

I would really love to just play math with kids and adults all the time (see my last 3 posts and a growing folder of ideas and resources). I have made some progress in figuring out how to take this from a hobby to a job (see that same folder) but it feels like a giant leap and I'd rather approach it as an incremental transition from individual beta testers, to a library play group, to a thing I try to find funding for. But it sure is distracting to see this wide open public space next to an empty retail shop downtown. I would rather spend time playing than job searching any day.

So to pay the bills I'm applying to all sorts of curriculum jobs. I'm good at that. I enjoy doing it. But again I'm very picky about where I'll work. I'm not going to help someone make their computer program intended for rows of kids staring at screens mathematically correct, but I will gladly help someone make their math content more pedagogically sound.

If I don't find a full time job soon I'll probably write a third edition of Nix the Tricks (anyone want to pay me to do that?) this summer. I do really like writing...

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