Asked a few questions about my career, then followed up with a lot about career aspirations. Tons about whether I want to become a principal, and what other leadership roles I’d consider, and whether I’m aware of and interested in the tools they have for getting alums into school leadership fellowships and positions. Started to feel like I must be doing something wrong, not wanting to become a principal. Started to think, maybe I should take my restlessness and channel it into applications for one of those principal programs. Luckily, the next question was about my reasons for NOT wanting to be a principal, and I remembered: adults are even more intractable than kids; I like teaching science; being a principal would be 90% the parts of teaching that I don’t like, and only 10% the parts that I do like. I don’t know how you do it, Dad. Though your job feels pretty different from being a principal in the inner city.
The next set of questions were about political activity. Do I keep up with the issues, am I involved, would I think about running for office? Which reminded me that the other day, getting on the subway, I did have the weird thought, maybe I should run for city council. I have no idea why this popped into my head, but it was rapidly followed by, god help us all, I’d be the least popular political candidate on earth. I wouldn’t even vote for me! And then I told my friend about it, and we laughed all the way to Union Square. It’s about as likely and appealing a scenario as competing in Olympic figure skating.
You know what I would like to do? Work with FOSS and the city and teachers to adapt the FOSS curriculum to our kids’ needs. Observe in other science teachers’ classrooms while they use the curriculum, talk to them about what’s working and what’s not working, get the lay of the land when it comes to teaching science in NYC, create materials to fill the gaps, help train teachers to use the curriculum, mentor the newest teachers and those for whom the transition is toughest, and so on. Because, public-transit-boredom-inspired delusions-of-grandeur aside, there does come a time when you envision yourself making a difference on a larger scale.