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Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Unexpected: Vaccines

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Last week, a friend pointed me to a link. The Gates Foundation is having a social media summit with Bill Nye about their work with vaccines. So I filled out the application.

They accepted me!

What would you want to ask of Bill (Gates or Nye… or Melinda, for that matter) if you could go??

Thanks, and Out

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A huge, huge thank you to everyone who responded to me on Twitter and on this last entry. I’m overwhelmed with how much positive support you all have offered via messages and promises (threats?) of a Hangout (oh, please please!)

And I’m super excited to start working on Doing Science With Your Kids (@dswyk) with Casey Rutherford. I’ll have some time to do this because….

…I’ve just resigned from my current position at my school. Actually, I now feel kinda free! I have the intention of looking for more jobs over the summer, but will probably be taking a sabbatical next year to get re-centered, start my curricula the way I want, and so on.

P.S., I really do want that virtual meet-up.

Giving Up?

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I love teaching. I’m so glad it’s my profession. Although I work crazy hours and spend lots of time and money on my classes and students, I don’t think I’d want another job. I love this stuff. I love students. I love talking to students and working with them. And I get paid to make silly putty and blow things up.

And a huge thanks to the MTBoS, especially Justin Aion and Mr. Dardy and Triangleman and Casey Rutherford and approx_normal and mathtans and jreulbach, none of whom I’ve met in person, but feel some sort of connection to, or they’ve helped out in some way or offered a good snarky comment somewhere. They’ve all posted something in a blog or a good, thoughtful Twitter thread (or 2 or 3 or 73) that I’ve really appreciated through this year.

But this year has been hard on me.

There’s a bunch of reasons, but it comes down to working and the process of re-licensing and general maintenance of files and curricula and labs, (oh yeah, and seeing my family occasionally), plus an (increasingly) large dose of administrative-related frustration, took a big mental toll this year. And, for some reason, it feels especially thankless this year. And I know that many (all?) teachers also deal with this, and can work through it. But right now, I can’t.

Maybe I just need to do more knitting (hear that, carpal tunnel?):

And through all of this work, I also applied for new jobs. And got a few interviews, but nothing panned out. Did my resume not make it through the stack? Do I interview really poorly? Maybe I can find something over the summer. Does my level of education make me too expensive? Do I not have the right experience? Am I a terrible teacher but think I’m doing okay??

I have no intention of saying goodbye to teaching forever. But I am feeling a need for a hiatus. And at the same time, I feel like I’m giving up, deserting my post. I mean, I have an obligation to my students, don’t I?

But is there more obligation to my students or to myself?

I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband (probably my biggest fan… *sniff*!), who’s talking me through this. Maybe I could take a year off of actual teaching, in order to beef up my credentials, and/or relearn calculus, and/or change my curricula (which I want to do anyway), and/or go to conferences and trainings. And then, I have to hope that I can get back into teaching next year.

I haven’t made a final decision on staying or going (still 1.5 weeks of school left). But I’m not sure I can stay anymore. I’m feeling awfully negative about my current situation, and that’s not fair to my next-year’s students.

I feel stuck, and I don’t know how to get out, other than to just exit.