When my son was born, I thought long and hard about what his bedroom decor would tell him and how it would inspire him as he moved through various phases of life. After much deliberation, I settled on a quotation by Mark Twain:
I wanted my son to understand that life is about taking risks, being authentic and living fully regardless of fear or anticipated disappointment.
As a teacher, I have this same conversation with students. I encourage them to be risk takers, to go against status quo and to live fearlessly as they work to achieve their dreams. It is one thing to “talk the talk” but today I also “walked the walked.”
Today I officially resigned from my teaching position next year. Being a teacher has been an amazing, humbling and gratifying experience. I am honored to impact students and encourage them to share their opinions while taking in the perspectives of others. I have a great passion for teaching. But today, I sailed away from the harbor.
What surprises me the most is not that I resigned (I have surely switched schools before) but that I don’t have a harbor to go to. Before, my moves have been calculated. I have sought out a position before letting go of where I am at. Second, my situation is unique in that I am the single provider for my family. This decision impacts my children and I don’t have another income to support our family if my plan doesn’t come together. In essence, as I write this, I am scared and nervous.
So why did I do this? Why would I decide not to return to my building next year and risk so much?
Professional goals: First, I desperately want to become a hybrid teacher where I both teach and am a mathematics instructional coach. I adore teaching students and I also enjoy allowing teachers to have their own “ah-ha” moments. If I don’t let go of where I am at, I may never fully invest energy into reaching my professional goals.
Pushing past fear: I spent some concentrated thought thinking about why I wasn’t letting go and moving on. After this internal conversation, I realized that fear was driving my decision making. If you have read any of my previous post, one of my greatest life lessons is to accept fear as a natural feeling and move forward anyways. I want to live life fully and understand that mistakes and missteps will happen. As such, I am choosing not to live in fear of the unknown.
Repeated cycle: Last year, I thought about leaving too yet, decided to stay for various reasons. As I made this decision today, I thought about what I would feel in a year or two years. I decided that the feeling would still exist. I no longer wanted to repeat the same deliberation again. I don’t want to live in regret or in waiting. As such, I decided now was the time to move on.
Being a realist: The district I work in wonderful in many ways. A small farming community, it has a sense of family, closeness and friendliness that is not found in many places. However, the one thing it is lacking is an opportunity to be a math coach. The current focus is in technology (which is completely necessary and essential to our students’ future careers). As much as I was hoping that the district developed a role as a math coach, I have learned that sometimes you have to see things for what they are not for what you want them to be. I realized that my future goals could not happen if a position was not going to come available.
Hope: Sometimes in moments of great uncertainty, unexpected opportunities are birthed. I have limited knowledge of what I can become or the role I could fill. I now set out with great hope that the right role presents itself and I am at a place to accept such an opportunity.
After moving into my home two years ago, I got to decide on a quotation for my bedroom that would drive my future. My wall now reads…
“Sometimes while chasing a dream, you get lost and find a better one.”
For the moment, I am lost, confused and uncertain of what position I will accept for next year. But, I am ready for the opportunity for a new challenge to present itself. It is time for me to continuing growing as a professional. Until I find the next harbor I will dock at, I will enjoy the journey amongst the waves knowing that these are the moments that define my character, reshape my life and celebrate my strength.