Which Should I Choose?
Let’s assume I have two choices. I have White Kids’ Unified, a mostly wealthy suburban district within spitting distance of my college and hasn’t yet offered me a contract. I also have BFE-Podunk Joint Unified, a very poor rural district that the administration in charge advertises as 95 percent Hispanic, and a district which has offered me a contract.
My master teacher has told me outright on several occasions that I am or may not be good at anything but a middle-class-white-kids’ school. This isn’t a compliment — she probably hates White Kids’ Unified with of the rest of the teachers here, masking her feelings with utter contempt.
I can’t help but think that I really do want to teach at White Kids’ Unified, anyway. Interviewer whoever-she-was was very clear:
Administrators will take care of teachers’ needs. We’re working on putting in projectors in every classroom.
White Kids’ Unified is genuinely interested in putting me in a journalism class, or a real history class. White Kids’ Unified will give me the best chance to teach my AP US History, and the way I want to.
Something about Podunk-BFE Joint Unified makes me want that 40-minute commute each way. Something about making a real difference, a real influence. I don’t care even if I am being played for the fool — I could really teach something.
All that stuff about getting into education for the kids isn’t a lie in Podunk. Sure, the mantra of teachers in White Kids’ Unified is, after all: “For the kids.” On the other hand, teachers at Podunk-BFE Joint Unified live that motto.
If they’re working there, they have to.