GOING MY WAY
Martin L. Krovetz
Martin L. Krovetz is the director of the Leading for Equity and Achievement Design (LEAD) Center, a regional center of the Coalition of Essential Schools. From 1991 to 2006, he was a professor of educational leadership at San Jose State University. During this time, he developed and coordinated the Master’s in Collaborative Leadership Program. From 1977 to 1991, he was a high school principal in Santa Cruz, California.
In addition to being the author of the Fostering Resilience, he is the author with Gilberto Arriaza of Collaborative Teacher Leadership: How Teachers Can Foster Equitable Schools, published by Corwin Press in 2006. He has published in numerous journals and presents at national conferences, including ASCD and the Coalition of Essential Schools. He received his PhD in social psychology from the University of North Carolina and BA from the University of Florida.
 We live in an age of change and mobility. The person who has had the same job for twenty years and has lived in the same house for that time may have trouble understanding my thoughts expressed here.
 Until I was 15 years old I lived in Rochester, N.Y. During that time I attended three elementary schools, one junior high school and one high school. My last two years of high school were in Miami Beach. I then attended a large state university for four years to earn my B.A., followed by four more years at a second large university where I earned my Ph.D. I spent no more than four years at any one of these eight schools. I am employed in my third major job. I left the other two voluntarily after three years each and went on to something new. Now after two years in my present position I'm actively considering what should come next.
 Everything has come in two-, three- or four-year cycles. No roots here, no roots there. Upward mobility is the theme. What's next, what's right to get there, thinking more of the future than the present….
 I was an excellent student in school. My Phi Beta Kappa key reminds me that I played by most of the rules. I realize now, as many people do, that most of the book learning has slipped my mind, but the messages given by the teachers all those years still ring loud and strong. Elementary school prepares you for junior high school. Junior high school prepares you for high school. High school prepares you for college. College prepares you for graduate school. Graduate school prepares you for a job. (There are a lot of Ph.D.'s unemployed these days, I hear.) If you work hard enough at the first job, the second job will offer more prestige, power and pay. If you work hard at the second job…. The endless cycle of a prosperous and worthwhile life. What better example of Marshall McLuhan's "the medium is the message."
 Somewhere a part of me has been lost. There have been many whos at each stop, but it gets harder and harder to give of myself to others when I know that the relationship will be short-lived, based on the life-style I have chosen for myself to date. I tell myself that the next stop may not be lasting, but it will be longer. The next stop is where the roots will grow and flourish. I sound too much like the aspiring law student who plans to play by all the rules until he is president of the General Motors Corp. and will then change the world.
 Every year, I try to get back to Florida to visit with my father, sister, grandparents, nieces and nephews aunts and uncles and two people who have been my closest friends since the first
days of college. Two weeks out of my extended family is a reality. A couple of times a year I correspond with friends from graduate school. We are spread all over North America now, but over the last four years I have seen several of them once or twice during someone s vacation.
 At the same time, if I'm not moving, someone else probably is. As an educator, I have become close friends with many of my past students. Their lives too are spent in two-, three- and four-year cycles. They too are now spread all over North America.
 Needless to say, I'm not sure that I want to change my life-style. I have an advantage that reportedly a majority of Americans do not have: I like my work. Each change of jobs has been stimulating and has caused me to grow as a person. I am away from my extended family, but I spend a lot of time with my nuclear family and find my relationship with my wife and three children to be very rewarding. I have made friends all along the way. I have hated to leave any of them, but I have enjoyed watching us change and grow with each move and with each new group of friends. Life is a learning process and by living in a number of places in the United States I have come to recognize and appreciate the pluralism within this country. Also, intellectually at least, I allow myself to think that I am somewhat of a free thinker, a person who will take risks and state his views even if it happens to endanger his job security; I pride myself on this, in fact.
 The dilemma facing me is at least somewhat clear. Do I choose the professional and personal satisfaction that I perceive comes from a life-style characterized by mobility, or do I choose the shelter and satisfaction that come from choosing a more stable life-style and then try to find ways to achieve the other satisfactions? I notice as I write this that the ingrained biases are evident to me; I cringed slightly as I wrote the word "shelter." Protection and shelter have negative connotations for me; strength, power and fame are positive. I am not at all sure that these ideas are mutually exclusive; I know that the valences are questionable, but I will need to re-evaluate my value system in order to be able to make a valid judgment.
 I suppose that I see the world as made up of "them guys who choose to not take chances, to work 40 hours a week at a boring jobs drink lots of beer and watch "Let's Make a Deal" on television and "us guys" who are willing to take chances, speak up, move, drink wine, eat cheese and read lots of newsmagazines. Along the way a number of "them guys" have been my friends, and they have admitted that they are jealous of the way I choose to approach life. I now wonder if I'm a little jealous of some of what they have as well.
I suspect that I will allow this dilemma to be waged inside me for a few more years and
perhaps through several more moves. At some point, however, I shall choose to at least try to look at my new house and new community as home. In the long run I still might choose to remain there for only three or four years; but once at least I should allow myself to think that the soil is rich and permits my roots to grow.