Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Home Is Where The Door Is Open

Happy Birthday to Me!

I got the call today with a decision I knew had already been made. My Alma mater decided against hiring me for the two open social studies positions created by two retiring teachers. Am I disappointed? Yes. Was I the most qualified? Yes. My answer to that question doesn't change after the hiring process. During the interview do you expect me to say "No I wasn't the most qualified"? In my mind I was the most experienced and most qualified applicant for the positions. I can understand having a difficult time deciding on one position with dozens, if not hundreds of applicants. Two gets to be a bit easier to make sure you get the "best" candidate.  I have hashed things out in my mind rather than express my thoughts publicly. I will say this--things happen for a reason and I think the winner today are the students of Moline High School.

What I will focus on is going home....home is not the home it used to be. You see I was a graduate of United Township High School. I loved that school--I was a Panther. I remember loving it before I was even a student there. My Uncle was a teacher there who was one of the best role models I ever knew. He also loved the Panthers, especially high school basketball. I traveled with him to all the Western Big 6 basketball games, watched every game in The Panther Den, and traveled to Champaign to watch U.T. in the state basketball tournament. In high school, the teachers challenged me and sparked my interest in learning. I have no doubt if more teachers had the passion and excitement for what they taught, there would be fewer schools on the Academic Warning list for not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. You see the Home I remember in U.T. back in the 80's is not the same place. It is run by totally different people with different goals, ambitions, and motivations. This is not a knock against U.T. It just isn't my home anymore.

What I do know is where home is. Home is where the door is open. Home is where you are wanted. Home is where they know you best. Home is people who know exactly what you can do and how good you can do it. Home is the place that brings out your best. Home is where the door is open...Home is Moline High School.

I remember walking through Washington Elementary School in Moline towards the end of the school year. This was where I worked for 5 years until November of 2009 (before moving into the classroom at Moline High School to begin my preclinical and student teaching phase of my teacher certification program). I remember telling my wife, "Wow the hallways are so narrow" and "The lockers seem so much shorter than I remembered."  I also remember thinking it didn't seem  like it used to. In that short period of time the school had a new principal, several new staff/faculty members and lots of unfamiliar student faces. Home was now Moline High School.

So in all likelihood, I will return home this next school year at Moline High School in one manner or another. I have no doubt the decision to hire me would be a different outcome if the opening was at Home instead of my Alma mater. I will go back Home and do the best job I know how--continuing to build upon the great rapport I've built with the students and faculty of Moline High School. Someday I WILL be a contracted teacher at Moline High School. It became crystal clear to me this week--Home is where the door is open...and Home is Moline High School!--Go Maroons!