Monday, September 12, 2011

Embracing Change

I've been avoiding writing a blog entry because I have come up against so many major milestones in my life and I put a lot of pressure on myself to make each blog post epic and impressionable. This one probably will be neither, but it will at least feel good to get it all out. And I always preach to my students to stop self-criticizing and just write, so I'm going to listen to my own sermon and just write.

One of the major-est milestones is that I switched schools and am already in my 3rd week of teaching at my new school. I am at a point in my life where I am learning to adjust to so much that I don't remember what it was like to feel comfortable in consistency. Every day brings forth new questions, new challenges, and new puzzles that I thought I had solved last year but crop up in an entirely different way now. Adjusting to something new, a new procedure, a new facility, new students, new ages, new lifestyle, is exhausting. Every step I take I second guess myself. Will the students respond to this question? How long will this activity take? How do I word this in my syllabus? Is this too hard for them? Is it too easy? Do I sound like an idiot? I am starting all over again and I can't help but look fondly and desperately back at my old school and think, "Man, if only I were still there, my life would be so much easier right now. I'd know exactly what I was doing."

It's times like these, when I feel stressed and anxious and clueless and frantic and on the brink of breaking down, that I cling to the idea that without change, the world would be static. Change brings opportunity. It's not meant to be comfortable.

While teachers prepare students for a "changing world" it is ironic that the teachers themselves have the most difficulty dealing with change. For some reason, educators deal with change poorly, as soon as a new path is created they get upset that the old path is being abandoned. When new ideas are thrown in to the mix teachers whine and fuss and claim that "the old way worked just fine!" There are some big changes occurring at my new school, just like the school I taught at last year, and with those changes comes the hope for instilling something new and lasting and important in the lives of these students. But change is awkward and uncomfortable. It means more work and less certainty. It means making mistakes and learning from them.

So when I get upset and stressed that my life is changing, I think about how I don't want to be one of those people who refuses to adjust, who digs her heels in to the ground and says "No! MY way is best!" clinging steadfastly to good, but worn-out ideals and snubbing my nose at innovation. Instead I want to ride the bumpy waves of change and hope it carries me in a positive direction.

I hope to post again soon, with some less vague, more fun little stories from my first few days of my new school.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

And I think you're teaching to students who face change faster each day with the onset of technology and it's impact on the way we live. Good for you for decided to tread water and NOT SINK! You are an inspiration to both young and old.

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