Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who am I, and how did I get to teaching?

Howdy all!

I have started this blog with the idea of having a place to vent a bit about our beloved governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. This guy is doing his best to destroy education in New Jersey, so I thought it was cheaper to start a blog (free) than go to a shrink (expensive, especially with the health insurance plan we just got switched to.)

So... who am I?

Well, I am in my mid 30s. I graduated from the #4 university in the nation back in the mid 90s having studied everything I was interested in and nothing that was practical... the religions of the world and the epic tales of Mali and the Tokugawa shogunate and the tragedy at Kent State.

After graduation, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do. My mother has been a teacher for many years, and my father was a teacher at one point, and I always had a feeling that I might head that way.

However, I just wasn't sure if education was for me. All of my friends were headed off to law school and med school and getting jobs at places like Goldman and Microsoft. So I moved into a career in professional sports. For a few years I advanced in that world, moving from ABC Sports to Fox Sports to a *cough* well respected agency, and by my fourth year in the field I was running a trio of professional sports franchises.

However, at the end of the day, I kept coming back to one thought: what on Earth am I contributing to this world?

Okay, stop laughing. Yes, some people actually DO think like that. And I happen to be one of them.

Was working in sports fun? Usually, yes. Playing at camps with pro players, meeting ridiculously famous folks, working some of the biggest events in sports (drafts, all-star games)... sure, parts of it were great.

Was working in sports a lot of... well, work? Oh yeah. By the time I ran the minor league teams I was working 90, 100 hour weeks, sleeping in the training room under the arena, sleeping on buses to Wheeling, WV and Birmingham, AL.

Was working in sports profitable? Yes.

But the most important question: was it WORTH IT?

Well... no.

After a few years running the teams, I came to this realization. I realized that at the end of the day the only thing I had contributed to the world was making some hotel reservations and buying some sports gear and scheduling some MRIs. This could not be what I did with my life... this was not how I could "spend" my life. I had to do something bigger. I had to contribute to the world. I had to make a difference.

Then, while considering what I wanted to do, I volunteered at a local youth program, coaching some youth teams. And holy cow.

The sense of responsibility when the kids gathered around at the start of practice. The total trust when I taught them a skill and they drank it all in, eager to practice it. The smiles from the parents when they saw me wacking on helmets and barking orders and winking at grinning kids. And the light in the kids' eyes when, at the end of a season, we all agreed we couldn't care less about winning or losing, that having a great time together had made it all worth it.

Oh, and the fact that they had become the tightest team, caring and supportive and GOOD, good enough to win the league, especially since we had the only two girls in the league on our team, didn't hurt any.

So. It was going to be teaching.

I left work, with my boss agreeing I was too smart and too kind to waste my life on this path, and enrolled in graduate school to become an elementary school teacher. After a few years of hard work at the most influential and respected graduate program in education, I left with my Masters degree and entered the world of teaching.

And I haven't looked back since.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Welcome to Chris Christie Sucks!

Welcome to my new blog; Chris Christie Sucks!

In this blog, I will write a few of my thoughts about our fat bully of a NJ governor, Chris Christie, and how he is trying to screw over some of the lowest folks on the totem pole... New Jersey teachers!

I'll post more soon, but for now, welcome!