The past three weeks or so have seen two somewhat unexpected pieces of news fall into place about people leaving.
One of my colleagues at work, a really great teacher (she was one of our two AP Chem teachers and had been teaching for about 15 years) decided that the time had come to end her teaching career, and chucked her job to go back to school and earn an MBA. She was a great kid, and we are going to miss her a lot at school. I think it just finally came down to what everyone is saying: the job of teaching is losing a lot of its rewarding side, and a lot of people are doing the cost analysis and deciding that what it is costing them in terms of time, stress, and maybe more importantly, emotional investment, is no longer worth it. She wasn’t the first teacher in our district to decide to leave teaching in the past 3 years, and I know she won’t be the last. I know the department chairs are going to not be pleased with this. Finding science teachers is becoming increasingly difficult. Last year we needed to hire a 4 month temporary replacement for another chemistry teacher recovering from back surgery. We had one candidate, and he didn’t work out, but our DC couldn’t find anyone. Typically, finding second semester temps like this was easy because lots of kids graduating in December would be begging for opportunities like this. Finding a replacement AP teacher is going to be extremely difficult.
Then there is my good friend Beth, who is, I think, the person I talk to whom I have know longer than just about anyone outside of my family (I know we met in 7th grade … I figure we likely met without realizing it back in preschool?). I was just over to visit Beth and her husband Brian on Sunday to help pack the moving truck for the first phase of their move to Phoenix. Beth will be hanging back in the Chicago area to make sure the house get sold and to continue with her job, but once things get tidied up on this end, she will be off to Phoenix on a more permanent basis. Brian has a new job waiting for him in Rockford that I hope will be a great one for him. In conversation, I know that his job situation has been far from ideal, and he deserves a good place to work the doesn’t resemble a place where one might film a comedy about bad places to work.
On the one hand, I only see Beth and Brian maybe twice a year, and now that might be more like once every 4-5 years or so … its not like this is a major change of life schedule for me, but I think it is true that even if you don’t get to see friends daily or weekly, it is simply a comfort to know they are there, That’s a change I’ll adjust to soon enough.