Cutting the Commute

Monday, August 3, 2015

It took me 12 minutes to get to school this morning. Just think of all those things I can do when I get an extra 45 min – 2 hours every day with a shorter commute. I can go to the gym, I can read a book, I can sleep in later. So many possibilities, and believe me, this morning when I arrived at my new school for my first day of professional development, I was compiling my list.

But, there was a different aspect that I was also thinking about. Not only will I have more physical time outside of the car with this new job, but hopefully I’ll have more time generally because I won’t be spending so much of my emotional energy on it. In the first 15 minutes of the professional development, the principal had convinced me that Intrinsic is the place I belong this year and that a work-life balance is possible here.

When I was deciding to leave my school last year, I felt a lot of guilt. In the two years I had spent at that school, there were countless situations in which I came face to face with my own privilege. I felt a lot of guilt about being able to leave the school when my students didn’t really have the chance. It was their neighborhood school, and many of them couldn’t or didn’t want to attend a selective enrollment school in another part of the city.

Through many conversations with my family and friends though, I realized that I couldn’t single-handedly change that place. There is a systemic failure that my kids were facing, and it wasn’t up to a single teacher to fix it. I feel so much better knowing that I’m now contributing to a place that is on the cusp of what education will look like in the future. It’s changing the way we think about educating our kids, and I really can’t wait to be a part of it. Maybe, in my own small way, I can be part of a solution to the systemic failure that is the current state of our education. We’ve developed really bad habits and backwards ways of thinking about learning, and so much of what CPS does is not sustainable or replicable. I’m hoping that we’ll change that.

If you want to learn more about where I’m teaching next year, here’s their website! Intrinsic Schools


4 thoughts on “Cutting the Commute

  1. Intrinsic certainly does sound like the place for you. Would be interesting to see how the kids you’ve had the last two years would do in a school like this. A lot more success stories I expect. Loved watching the videos and learning more about the school. Wishing you a very successful and pleasant year! Love, Lolo

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Hi Ruth, I think you and Intrinsic will be a really good fit. I believe you made a difference in the lives of your students these past two years. Maybe it wasn’t the magnitude you would have liked, but the fact that they experienced the essence of your being is something that will positively serve them as they go through life. You DID make a difference! Now you’ll make a difference in more lives just as you have in mine1 Love you, Melissa

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