Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Change: Certainty and Uncertainty in the School Year Ahead and the Future

The 2007-08 school year will bring many certain things. As a teacher, I will walk into my classroom and see the students on the first day. There will be assignments given then graded. Kids who need extra support and those who don’t. Realizing how much taller the some of the returning students are or how they have grown up. I will certainly have some first day jitters. I have had them in other years during my 18 years of teaching at the same school.

This year brings many uncertainties as a teacher. Uncertainties I will see such as getting to know my new students, knowing their abilities and interests. New challenges and also unknown success and failures will come this year.

This school year will be different than many others because of the uncertainty of the change in school governance. As districts select their “dance partners” and begin the process of merging and consolidation, as a teacher I wonder where it will all go.

All of the terms I have learned about school governance such as School Unions, School Administrative Districts, and Consolidated School Districts will be gone by 2009. I will have to get used to Regional School Units. RSUs for short.

The way of doing things is about to change and be developed. I am excited as I can watch the process unfold with Regional Planning Committees setting up the new district. I would like to see teachers be a part of the process and help to set the new district in a good direction. Hopefully, the product at the end of the road is a good one for students, teachers, schools, and education in Maine.

Items about the process also scare me. Will my small school be closed in a few years? Will the final product be a fair and effective system for education? Where will it all go?

The certainties of teaching and of life help us to manage the uncertainties. As a teacher, I hope other teachers get involved in the creation of their new districts. Hopefully we can let the long term uncertainties of the future of Maine education be balanced by the day to day certainties and challenges that we face as teachers. What certainties and uncertainties do you see for this school year? Where do you think educational change in Maine will go or where do you want it to go?

For information on changes in Maine School Governance check out:


mdischools.net is excellent to get links to newspaper articles and resources from around the state over consolidation.

1 comment:

Jim Burke said...

George . . .thanks for your perspective as a person who works with children in a small school in Maine. I'm sure you have reflected the feelings of many teachers across the State. There are many questions to be answered!

Thanks as well for posting the MDI site. Great place for a wealth of information on school consolidation issues.