No really, it’s cool, I have knife fighting skillz

Woke up at around 9:30am today to a phone call from a school setting up my first Big Scary Grown Up Job Interview. I faxed them my resume last night, so was surprised at their speedy response.

The posting I saw wasn’t very detailed, so after I got off the phone I looked up further information about the Academy of Oak Park in Ferndale. It’s a charter school for grades 6-12. What caught my eye was the four pages of teacher and parent reviews on greatschools.net… none of them were positive. They described chaos, ridiculous teacher turnover (going though 3 math teachers in a week), poor funding, lack of parent involvement, violence, and poor administration.

According to Standard and Poor’s data at Schoolmatters.com, in 2005 this school of approximately 1,400 students had 1,069 “safety infractions”… 419 of which were physical assaults by students. (There were, however, 0 incidents involving drugs, and only 4 involving weapons… that’s good, I guess?)

Are you kidding? Wow.

It was also interesting to compare the demographics of the high school I student taught at in Ann Arbor with Oak Park. Direct pendulum swing from one fairly homogenous racial population to another. Check out these handy pie graphs (hot damn, math!)


Guess which school is in Ann Arbor? Guess which one is funded?

Sad but true.

Anyway. I am not afraid of teaching in difficult situations. I am not going into teaching for a smooth ride… it’s one of the most emotionally draining and demanding jobs out there, regardless of whether you have funding and parent involvement and a “safe” environment. That being said, I’m not going to set myself up for failure. If this school is really as horrible as the reviews indicate, then forget it… maybe when I’m tougher and more experienced. This new baby teacher will move herself elsewhere if that’s all Michigan has to offer.

Regardless, I have an interview the end of April. The following Saturday I am going to Chicago for a job fair… then returning to Michigan to walk across a stage in a goofy gown and hat and receive… an anticlimactic empty diploma cover? I think they mail me the diploma. Probably.

Life is funny and makes me nervous sometimes.

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2 Responses to No really, it’s cool, I have knife fighting skillz

  1. d.cous. says:

    Good luck with the job search, Sara! It was great to run into you the other night.

    Also, this probably the last blog on which I would have expected to find pie charts.

  2. Nathan says:

    That place sounds crazy and desperate. Good luck brave soul. This can’t end well.

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