I'm nearing the end of my 4th year in the classroom. Four years ago, I started with a bunch of 9th graders. This year, I have many of those same students as 12th graders. I now find myself in a quandary. Should I leave now, or give it one more year? Here's the situation: I applied to three graduate schools in December. I was rejected by one, waitlisted (then rejected) by another and accepted with funding by the third. It's not full funding (50% tuition waiver, plus $3,500 Fellowship stipend and $2,000 work stipend for manning the writing lab for 10 hours a week). I have ten days to decide. Here are my pros and cons: Pro accepting: * I start Grad school (a long-time dream) * I escape the new, mandated English 12 curriculum (contemporary essays and other such nonsense) * There is no guarantee that I would be accepted, and certainly no guarantee of funding next year (the competition is fierce at the moment). * I felt like the school and the department REALLY wanted me in the program. * I escape the tandem of my department chair and principal, who create a really unhealthy, non-positive work environment. * I get to leave with the same kids I came in with (sounds dopey, but I like the idea). * I end on a really positive season with my soccer kids (we had a dream season last fall). * The university has already told me that I would be working with their most distinguished (by far) scholar, who might not be there too much longer (I've been assured that he would stay at least two more years, but if I wait, I'm worried that he might not be willing to commit) Pro rejecting: * I would be in a better financial situation next year, with some more savings built up. * I would be working with next year's 12th graders, who are a really nice, well-behaved group of kids. * I would have a chance to go to Europe this summer (no way I can justify spending that money if I'm off to grad school). * I might have more options in terms of schools. The one I have the offer from isn't a bad school, but it won't get me into R1 research PhD programs. It's a small private school that will more likely get me admission to a tier 3 PhD program. * If I put in a 5th year, I will be vested in the retirement program, thus keeping the matching contributions. * It will give me more time to start learning French (I have to have a language at the translation level, and the expectation is that I learn it on my own if I don't already know one). Those are the broad strokes. I really don't know what I'm going to eventually do. For those interested, my field is English and my focus area is Shakespeare and Renaissance pedagogy (researching Renaissance schooling and how that can illuminate education scenes in the plays). Any thoughts/suggestions/recommendations/random thoughts?