Thursday, November 03, 2011

There's a Reason Most Classroom Teachers Don't Do a Lot of Blogging

Nancy Flanagan:

About a month after I started at the nonprofit, one of my managers commented on the difference in work load and environment I must be experiencing--all the late nights and weekends, the quick-turnaround demand for meetings, calls, event planning and policy analysis. "You don't get to go home at 3 o'clock when you work here, or take summers off," he remarked. "The work is non-stop. Quite a change for you."

The truth of it? Responsibilities and accountability at the non-profit were much lighter, urgency greatly diminished. Perks (an hour lunch, unlimited bathroom breaks, flexibility to schedule a dentist appointment, secretarial support) felt downright luxurious. I had trouble adjusting to long periods of discretionary time, alone in my cubicle. Yes, there was always work to do. But there was enough time to think, to read, to prepare, to edit, to reflect--and to talk to colleagues.


doyle said...


I used to practice medicine. Leslie has been know to mutter that if I was going to spend this many hours doing what I do now, perhaps I should have stayed in medicine. I made a lot more money succoring the afflicted.

I like what I do now much more than I did then, and I don't (yet) carry a beeper as a teach.

Nancy Flanagan said...

I actually returned to the classroom after the experience at the non-profit, mostly because I missed teaching so much. It was interesting, returning to the same school after two years working for a national organization.

Parents were happy that I came back. My teaching colleagues were welcoming. The district administration wasn't happy about it, however--it was as if I'd stepped out, somehow, and distinguished myself. The remaining years in the classroom were marked with little skirmishes, designed to put me in my place. I finished my 30 years, then retired.

And now, I get to blog.