In the real world, I chose the fork that led to the sixth-grade classroom. Other than having completed a four-year degree in philosophy and possessing a willingness to give it a shot, I had virtually no preparation for dealing with eleven- and twelve-year old kids. Thus it was that without doubt I learned a great deal more than did my students.
At the end of my third year the trustee presented me with a new contract for the following year. I requested more money than he offered. He asserted that the offer was quite generous, and though they loved my work, no more money would be forthcoming. I delayed the signing of the contract and started looking for another position. I was offered a job in a community forty miles distant at a salary $100 greater than I had been offered. That was $100 more for the year. I signed the contract and wrote a letter of resignation which I hand-delivered to my trustee. He was floored. "Well," he said, "we bring new teachers into the fold and groom them into quality employees, then they leave for more money."
Mr. T came to my classroom two days later with a new contract, the amount offered was yet another $100 more than what I had signed for. "I have already signed with another school district," I reminded him.
"Not a problem," he replied. "So long as one resigns a couple of weeks before the school year starts everything is perfectly fine. People do it all the time."
Another fork in the road. Do I break my agreement with someone I don't know and accept more money from someone I do? Do I honor my signature?