1. The small, tight-knit staff. Teaching staff: about 12 Total staff: about 25 It's small. On the very first day of my job, when teachers report back but not students yet, I got to watch everyone filter into the school and see each other again after a long summer break. It was the highlight of my week. Lots of hugs, and heartfelt greetings, and genuine "Glad you see you" filled the room. It made me feel excited about my job, even before I had really begun. A few weeks into the year, I told my husband, "There isn't one person at my job that isn't welcoming and helpful. There isn't one person I'm not glad to be working with."
2. The lack of unnecessary rules and regulations. As a teacher, the less I have to worry myself about, the better. I already have so much to do, and so much to think about, that I don't want to add even one more small thing. I don't have to here. I don't have to worry about checking to make sure that none of my kids are chewing gum. Once I assign a kid detention, it's done. I don't have to follow up and make sure he attended. My lesson plans don't have to follow a given format. I'm not required to make x number of parent phone calls a month. I am trusted to do what I think is best, and there is such freedom in that.
3. Math support out my ears! Wow. This school understands the math crisis, and understands that math is a high-stakes subject that needs a little extra attention. If a student is struggling, they have so many options to get help: There is time set aside each morning that I am available for help, there is a before and after school math tutoring session, there are 2 math remediation electives. I love that I don't have to carve out half an hour every time a student didn't understand something in class. I love that that student will still get the help he needs.
Overall, I get the impression that my work as an educator is valued and supported. What a great feeling that is.