I have a very clear picture in my head of what my dream job looks like.
I am the department leader of the English department of a small private or charter high school. I am given the respect I deserve as the competent professional that I am; I have the freedom to design curriculum and choose materials based on what my students need and want in order to learn and grow.
My classes are never more than about a dozen students.
There doesn’t have to be a wealth of resources, but the basics should be provided by the school.
My colleagues, both within my department and without, are energetic, ethical, and committed professionals who care deeply about both their students and their discipline and are invested in creating an environment where everyone – students and faculty – has the support they need to do their jobs exceptionally well.
My administrators are competent, dedicated, and ethical professionals who care more about the quality of the education their institution can provide to students than about appearances, toeing the line on arbitrary policy, or placating those who make unreasonable or unethical demands on students and teachers.
This school is within easy commuting distance of my home and provides me with a modest but respectable salary.
I’m beginning to despair that such a place only exists in my fantasies.