It has been a great point of pride for me that I dropped out of Calculus in High School, in favor of a Photography class that changed my life. The sappy story of how a sarcastic art teacher and creepy darkroom tech might alter a course of personal history is a tale for another time. I am writing today to regersiter a complaint against the esteemed George W. Bush. In a round-about way, lest the Feds get my address this time.

In light of my current occupation changing the diapers of twin six month olds (Monkey and Turtle) and the fact that various Nanny web-sites assured me that I will never, ever, in a million years of economic upturn, make a penny more, or have any sort of job security, or have benefits or paid vacations, ever, I am looking for (yet another) career change. This makes seven in three years. This time, I'm hoping it will stick. Instead of looking for glam jobs, like kayaking near mile-long glaciers looking for whales, or hanging out with male prostitutes at 2am on dark street corners of sketchy 'hoods, or teaching crack addicts how to avoid rattlesnakes and start fires with sticks fifty miles from the nearest road in the Utah desert, I am buckling down and going for something a little more (gasp) mainstream. Maybe it has something to do with getting married (settling down?) in March. Maybe I am aging. Either way, it's a scary step for my little soul to plunge down.

I have been scowering the web for post-baccalaureate teaching certification programs. Every so-called "job" I've had has involved some form of teaching, and usually the teaching parts of the job are the only palatable bits. (ok, so surfing glacial drift and being tailed by angry bull-seals was pretty cool, too. but i'm trying hard to be positive, here.) I finally found one that looked good. It's on-line, so no matter how many times Peter and I uproot, I can continue to take the classes. They'll work with whatever state we end up in to find a student-teaching spot. It looks like it will take me less than a year. I hail the unsullied blessing of the Internet. The good news keeps on rolling in ...

Until I actually talk to a human, a very helpful and informative and infinitely discouraging human. This interaction reminds me once again that I should have become a luddite. She informs me that in addition to the very hard graduate level online classes, I have to take any number of "core" courses - she'll have to look at my college transcripts to be sure - but they will include chemistry, physics, history and (i nearly dropped Turtle at this point) calculus. Let me remind my listeners here that I am looking to teach FIFTH graders. Pint-sized, fashion maven, 4-square playing, eager-to-please ten year olds who are lucky if they can put a couple of fractions together without breaking a sweat. Calculus.

When I worked in a school district last year, I interacted with teachers in every subject at nearly every grade level. I also know many teachers from all over the country (thanks to my exponentially expanding list of places I've crashed.) I have yet to talk to a single professional educator who does not physically bristle when the No Child Left Behind Act is mentioned, referenced or hinted at. They become visibly irate, their mannerisms become jerky, faces turn red, speech becomes curt. This generally does not leave a favorable impression on a soul.

Now that I may have to take remedial mathematics for a decade or so, in order to teach tykes how to divide up a pizza into eights and then add them together to make a half, I am beginning to become a little bristly myself.

1 comment:

beholdhowfree said...

who knew it was george w's fault you had to take calculus? i guess we blame him for everything else, why not this too?
i'm glad you are going to be a teacher of some flavor.
i'm still trying to picture you in a room full of 10 to 12 year olds...