How much influence does your principal have on the climate of the school? If the teaching staff is dynamic and cohesive but the boss person is sometimes mentally unstable(sometimes off his/her rocker), how much does it affect what goes on in your classroom? Here's the quandary: I have been offered a job in a neighboring suburb. I have also been offered a really cool position at the school I'm currently in. Here are the details with bonuses in italics.
New school: five classes a day, 20-30 kids a class, really good district, have never taught this particular subject, different district from my kids, Suburbs, 20 minutes from home. Lovely new classroom with lots o'technology, 3000 student body, don't know anyone(anonymity).
Old School: six classes a day, 10-20 kids a class, in the news constantly in turmoil urban district, really good at teaching this subject, all TAG kids, same district as my kids, Urban, 15 minutes from home, derelict portable with questionable technology, 1200 student body, know too many people but have a fantastic work reputation(leverage).
Some fellow teachers are aghast that I am even having trouble deciding. Some say stay, some say go. Do you stay with the familiar newly packaged, more pleasantly flavored poison or jump off that ledge into the unknown? I know what this principal is like and that is such a factor. The team I'd be working with is soooooo good but I am so afraid of not taking this chance offered to me. As a good liberal teacher I'd suck it up and enjoy teaching my best in my teeter totter of a portable. As someone who's been burned by two consecutive unstable principals, I think of that new classroom and giggle like a child opening a present. Oy ve.