End of Days

What a long, strange trip it’s been to quote Robert Hunter. Time, loyalties, responsibilities, adventure, professional pride, desires and fun all mesh together sometimes when a person is attempting to make a decision about a major event in their life. I’ve been struggling with this for the past six months ever since I agreed to come out of retirement to teach again and take over my old position as technology coordinator at an international school. When I made the decision to come back to work, the economic future of the world looked bleak; fortunately things have improved over the past six months.

I was enjoying my life in retirement (what an understatement that is), and the decision to go back to work was not easy, but the necessities of caring for a family in uncertain economic times were very persuasive in guiding me in my deliberations.

Not long after I returned, I was asked to extend my contract for an extra six months, and after a lot of thought, I agreed, only to change my mind a few weeks later. Just to demonstrate that the universe does, indeed, have a sense of humor, I discovered a growth that was initially diagnosed as potentially cancerous. I offered to extend my contract and the executive principal graciously agreed.

To be honest, I was less than enthused about the extension but it seemed to be a win/win situation for both the school and myself: they got an experienced expat teacher which they needed, and I got an extra six months of insurance which I needed.

Then I became involved in doing some professional development work both in the school and in the community, and I was quite suddenly re-energized. Lots of opportunities emerged to carry on with my ideas about technology integration that I have been working for over the past fourteen years.

But, the school that I work in is quite dysfunctional. Those of us of the staff who are actually concerned about this state have been working to change this, but only minimally. It’s really easier to whine about it and just carry on taking care of our class and ignoring the rest of the growing wasteland that threatens to engulf us all.

In a school of just over 200 we have five administrators – fairly overstaffed with administrators based on most international schools. In Pakistan we had three for four hundred plus students. But the school runs on the principle that paper is more important than people so as long as the school continues to be nominally functional, everyone ignores the sleeping tiger in the corner of the room.

Well, all of this is just another story of an expat in the tropics. There’s no telling what the next few months will bring.

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~ by drbrucepk on May 12, 2009.

One Response to “End of Days”

  1. It’ll be interesting to see if it feels different teaching this time around.

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