I've often wondered what it would be like to teach in the suburbs. I have in my head the unsubstantiated notion that it would be easier, more pleasant, and less overwhelming. But that's all conjecture - I have no personal friends who have made the switch. I have, however, stumbled upon this article by Brett Rosenthal, who left Jamaica High School for a Long Island high school.
He notes differences in parent involvement, the lack of student sorting at his new school, discipline, leadership, and hiring. His notes on leadership are interesting. At South Side High School, leaders are experienced educators who are committed to not only education but also their school.
I think about City Prep, and I wonder how many of our staff will leave before next year. I wonder how long our leadership will be in place. And I wonder about the things that make people leave. In an urban school, there's so much movement of personnel that if I were to walk into CP of three years ago I would know perhaps two people. If I were to walk into CP three years from now, I wonder who would still be there. CP has recently seemed to turn a corner in its ability to get teachers to stay, I think we're approaching the point where there might be some restlessness growing and turnover on the horizon.
I'll admit it: reading Rosenthal's article makes me tempted to take my teaching to the suburbs. If I remain in the classroom, I think there's a very good chance that's where I end up.
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