The part of the story I haven't yet told is of my girlfriend, Ashley. She graduated from a very good liberal arts college with a degree in political science, and certified to teach. She couldn't get a job.
Budget cuts? No. Lack of training? No. Lack of competence as a teacher? No. In fact she was told by a principal that he would love to hire her if he could...
The real issue: She was certified. She couldn't get a job in Philly or Baltimore because she wasn't a part of an alternative certification track. She decided to get trained as an educator in college over 4 years, including student teaching, and spending countless hours in observations in schools. If only she decided to go to teacher training summer camp (like I did), she could have gotten a job.
So instead of me continuing for a year or so at another school, while she tried to find other work, we are going to travel. This fall we are going to travel across the US visiting schools and seeing the country. We plan on reporting here (and on a website-to-be-created) what we find. Our focus on the trip will be progressive education, the connection between progressive politics and progressive education, and environmentally sustainable schools. We will be looking at how schools are a part of their communities, what their communities value, and what communities can do to better have their schools represent what they value. The hope is to make this information useful for schools and communities across the country, as well as teach us a lot.
We both want to teach (I'll probably move to undergrad teaching after some more grad school), and we'll be back when there is a school that we want to be a part of, that wants to offer either of us a job.