In my last post I mentioned a bit of a life change on the horizon. But I suppose transition is a more accurate word for it. Today was my last day of work?after over four years at one of the best non-profit organizations in NYC, and perhaps the country. I didn’t go into leaving?said?company lightly either, not in the least. I consulted with friends, mentors, the wife and others. I did the math. And when it was all said and done I followed my gut. The result is that I’m joining the charter school movement in a school that will open it’s doors for the first time?this Fall.
I had been kind of watching the movement since I did a paper on?charter schools?years ago in college when the idea was still novel. At the time the students in my Urban Studies major predicted substantial growth in the model, which is exactly what has happened.?These days the success stories are too numerous to count (of course some schools have failed but that number is dwarfed by the thriving schools).
The main goal of Charters is not to replace traditional public educations – they are public schools after all -?but to give education options to parents that?don’t usually have the financial resources to seek out alternatives to their zoned schools. I learned this first hand when my wife and I applied to four charters for the Dev’s kindergarten. The demand for seats in these schools were so high that we were wait-listed in every one, in some instances as far down the list as 300-something?(lucky for us he got into a school that we loved).
My point is that I think this is a good move for me, I’m just nervous. I always strive for excellence in whatever I do and for me anything less is not an option. Or at least not the first option. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a perfectionist. People who look for perfection often find themselves wallowing disappointment while the next challenge is being neglected. I’m simply a realist who sets the bar high for himself. I may complain about something not working out, but I’m always on to the next thing and learning from the last thing. I’m just hoping my theories translate to the new gig.
Life is all about new beginnings and sad endings. I’m going to miss my colleagues and friends more than they’d believe. Their support and well wishes have sustained me. Now, for better or for worst,?it’s time to take the next step in my career. However, before I take the plunge I’m taking a few days in Disney World with the family. Yep, next week you can find me baking?under the Florida sun in the happiest darn place on earth. Who needs a relaxing?vacation when you can ride Space frickin’ Mountain and?plummet 14 stories to your doom in the Tower of Terror? Not me.
I’ll be easy to spot?amongst the?writhing?masses: I’ll be the?dad with the Dev and the?nervous smile?(but?not?because I’m?getting on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad).
Congratulations…and have a GREAT time at Disney.
I found your site through NerdGirl. Just wanted to say hello, and best of luck with your transition to the world of Charter Schools. I teach at a public (but might as well be private) suburban school. We don’t actually have any Charter schools but we do have what they call “speciality centers”. Anyway, ideally I would love to just homeschool my daughter and call it a day 🙂
I look forward to reading your posts,
Good luck with your new venture. I’m certain you will always bring excellence to whatever work you do
First, life is good man take on the new challenge and enjoy the newness of it. Second, I like that you joined the charter school movement we all know something is wrong and you chose to do something about it. Third, God gives us other people for only a moment in our lives you made the best of it and now it’s time to GROW.
Keep pushing yourself man and finding your limits. Life is not about the end goal but the journey. Sometimes we have to get off the bus even though it’s comfortable and walk just to see the neighborhood.
How wonderful for you! I’m sure you’ll do quite well and look forward to hearing more about this next chapter in your life. Enjoy Mickey and the crew!
Congrats on the big leap. I know it’s not easy. You’ll lose some sleep and you’ll stress way too much.
Out of the frying pan and into the fryer? Maybe. But if that happens, it just means you hop out of the fryer and on to solid ground.
Hope it all works out. These things usually do 🙂
Oh, and when you stop challenging yourself is when you give up. Never give up.
Congratulations on the new job and new start! Have a great time on your vacation. I’ll be looking forward to more of your insight about charter schools.
Congratulations! I helped start a charter high school at the Youth Center I was the director of before moving to San Diego. It’s now thriving and really doing a great job serving an underserved population.
The think about working at a school is you get to see the success stories each and every day. It’s really a great energy.
Well, I guess congrats are in order. Good for you for following your gut and your heart. I’m proud of you.
Um, I guess I should wish you to enjoy Florida. But I’m jealous cuz I’m not there. So, I hope you throw up on one of the rides…kinda!
Have fun Keith!
Best wishes in your new job I think it’s brave to leave your comfort zone and enter the unknown-brave people never sit on the sidelines. I really like your blog and I look forward to hearing more about the new gig and Dev.
congrats on the move!! have a great time at disney! i love it!!
That’s fabulous that you’re heading to a charter. I’m sure whichever one it is certainly needs someone grounded and talented like you. In the meantime, have fun with Mickey and Co!!!
I came very close to working with a new charter about 7 years ago but wound up going with something corporate instead. I didn’t choose wisely.
Congrats, best of luck, and have a blast at WDW!
Have fun with Mickey and Aladdin, enjoy the fireworks and good luck with the new job. I can’t say I’m a big fan of charters, though I understand the need they fill. But, every well educated child is a gift to this world so, whatever you can do to support excellent education cannot be argued against.
I like your blog and honestly can’t remember how I linked into it. I’ve been here a few times and enjoy the reading.
Congrats on the new gig! I’m happy for you and your family!
Foremost, thank you for caring, sharing, writing and fighting . . .
I’m highly interested in learning what you have learned in terms of better reaching and teaching our children.
Please allow me to share with you my calling.
UniTee Design is better educating today?s youth by connecting our people and maximizing our resources. Caring citizens, parents, students, schools, groups, businesses, churches, and many others are working with us to create more academic successes for more children.
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As founder of The Better Detroit Youth Movement, I?m intent on establishing higher levels of communication, cooperation and collaboration among youth and community service providers, and our city?s resources, to mobilize action and maximize better outcomes for Detroit children and teens. I am also planning to create non-profit orgs in New York City and Atlanta in 2009, based on the BDYM model.
Strength in unity is our most powerful resource. Now let?s use it to lift our children. It?s critical we revive the power of our people to achieve higher levels of academic successes for our youth. Thus, we welcome collaborations for a common cause and greater good.
Please log on to http://www.uniteedesign.com or check out this short video (www.uniteedesign.com/video.html) to learn about a growing movement that?s empowering brighter futures every day.
Let?s continue to encourage others to do their part in improving the quality of life and learning for our youth.
Together, we will show the world how beautiful, smart and special our children really are.
R. Lee Gordon
President / Executive Director
UniTee Design, Inc. / The Better Detroit Youth Movement
http://www.uniteedesign.com / http://www.betterdetroityouth.org
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Congratulations man, you have a great heart to do the work that youd do!
Hey, congratulations, and best of luck to you on the move. Sounds like a great opportunity for you.
By the time you read this you would have returned from the “Magical Kingdom” or some other farce like that! I hope you and the fam had a good time. Just wanted you to know that your absence is felt already–our loss is their gain, for sure. I’ve said this over and over but…good luck, you can’t lose by following the gut. Miss you.
It will be hard. But if you love seeing the results of a job well done then you won’t regret it one bit. This will be our fifth year. I have never worked so hard in my life. I have been a teacher for most of it but i have never been a TEACHER. good luck, good journey. i have been lurking and sharing this link for awhile now
Congrats on the new gig!