Saturday, December 31, 2005

Just what is this blog all about?

I'm on a hunt. Not the sort of hunt with guns and flash orange hats, but rather a hunt for a place to call home. I'm called to teach at a boarding school; for more than a decade, I've ignored the call. No more.

I've set up this blog to chronicle my search. I'm hesitant to call this a job search since I'm not looking for a job. I'm looking for a community; I'm looking for a home; I'm looking for a life of contribution.

For the last couple of weeks, I've been blasting out emails to heads of schools. Here's the basic gist:
I’d like to come home – perhaps not literally, but certainly figuratively. After more than a decade in the wilderness, I wish to return to an independent boarding school's faculty. I want to make a positive difference in students' lives and in the life of a school. Perhaps your school is the place for me.

While it is likely still too early for you to know what holes you’ll need to fill for next academic year, it’s not too early to explore how I might fit on your team. I’m game for a wide variety of job responsibilities: I am, like most independent school professionals, a jack-of-many-trades. Frankly, where I land next year is more important than what my responsibilities will be; I’d be comfortable across a wide spectrum of roles and responsibilities.

For the last decade, I’ve been a civil servant with the federal government, serving as an organizational performance consultant. My work has primarily been to advise senior leaders on leadership and management issues as the agency works to implement a service-wide systematic performance excellence culture. I also serve as a counselor and mediator in the agency’s civil rights & equal employment programs.

Before coming to the federal government, I taught English, history, and theatre at a mid-Atlantic boarding school; I coached lacrosse, served as the technical director of the performing arts center, and directed full-length plays. I lived in the dorm, serving as the lead faculty in the upper class boys' dormitory. As if that wasn't enough, I was the faculty advisor to several co-curricular groups, including an informal creative writing society which met in my apartment one or two Friday nights each month.

I have earned a bachelor’s degree in English and two master’s degrees (one in counseling & human development and the other in national security & strategic studies). I am currently completing a doctorate in organizational leadership & conflict resolution; I anticipate completing the coursework this coming summer and the dissertation by the end of 2006.

What am I looking for in a school? I seek a school which is a community in more than name only, a place in which I can help students thrive, a place where I can learn, and a place for my family to call home.

What would I bring to your campus? I bring a love of teaching, a sense of duty & honor, and a diverse background providing me the ability to fill a number of roles; the ideal responsibilities would mix a few from the following list:

* Faculty: English, history & the social sciences, and theatre & drama

* Administration: alumni relations, institutional development, and admissions

* School leadership: curriculum and faculty development

* Student life & leadership: personal counseling, college counseling, leadership development, residential life, student development, student activities, student discipline, and co-curricular activity advising

* Athletics: lacrosse and/or cross country

If you'd be interested in talking further about the possibility of my joining the faculty and contributing to the life of your school, please get in touch with me.

I hope your Christmas holiday was restful and peaceful, a welcome & necessary break from the rigors of boarding school life.
With this blog I plan to write about my search, my educational philosophy, and my dreams about independent schools.

In the mean time, here's an educator's blog. This is Malcolm's Blog, written by Malcolm Gauld, the founder of the Hyde Schools. Surf over; it's worth the read.