How Do You Know If a School is Right for You?

After two exhausting pairs of demo lessons and interviews I'm on my way back to Boston. The lessons went well, and reassured me I still know how to teach. They also reminded me of incredible amount of uenergy required to keep students engaged in learning.

As I think about a possible return to the classroom I'm wondering about making the application process work for me. My experience in two separate schools taught me a lot about what I hope to find in a work environment. I also have certain criteria as far as teaching in a 'high-need' school. Add to this list expectations I've developed at Harvard - meaningful family engagement, staff collaboration, ongoing and constructive feedback and support, opportunities for teacher leadership - then you have a pretty comprehensive picture of my ideal school. But am I being unrealistic?

I got my first two teaching jobs without even demonstrating I could teach. Setting the bar at an interview process that includes a demo lesson seems like an important first step. As I move forward though, I wonder if the theoretical school I've envisioned while at Harvard is out there somewhere. Does that perfect mix of the right vision, leadership, curriculum, and community exist?

I liked a lot of what I saw and heard today, but I still have a lot of questions I need answered before I know if I've found the right fit.


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