Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Try Something

"Must the country remain hungry and jobless while raw materials stand unused and factories idle?" he [FDR] asked. "The country needs, the country demands, bold, persistent experimentation. Take a method and try it. If it fails admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."
Jean Edward Smith, FDR, (New York: Random House, 2007), 263.
This question has been proposed to me numerous times since I decided to move: "But isn't the job market for history teachers pretty bleak?" Now I don't think anyone is trying to discourage me or predict doom for my family, but I do believe people (myself included) often get caught up in fear. We need bold, persistent experimentation - and yet we constantly take the easy route. We love to quote Robert Frost and his ideal of the road not taken - but the truth is we always take the path more traveled upon. Its not a lack of desire that forces our hand on this - but a lack of faith. Like the Israelites, we just don't trust that God can part the Red Sea.

So the answer to that question is yes the job market for high school history teachers is probably pretty bleak. The entire US economy is struggling right now so why would this sector be any different? But the road not taken still makes all the difference. FDR's command of "But above all, try something" rings daily in my ears. This could fail in some ways but the reality is I know I could not stay doing something I did not feel like God was calling me to do anymore. It would have been more safe and yet detrimental for my development as a person. I have no clue how things will turn out, where I will end up, or what kind of journey it will be like. But my choice is to succumb to the fear or be invigorated by the challenge that lies ahead. I choose the latter.