future tense

I am in motion again.

Two years into my term, of instructing students that are on suspension or expulsion, I have accepted a new position at a different school in a totally different program.

Two years of mind expanding, resource connecting, schedule wrestling, rapport building, behaviour managing, family meeting, relationship developing, reflection writing-reading-publishing 360º teaching has lead me to another project.

This portfolio has been deeply satisfying. The learning complex. And the pace, energizing.

So why change?

Why look for the ‘next’?

A younger me would have fence-hopped that question and just dropped a ‘why not?’ in response. But a mic drop is less satisfying now. I want to know my mind so that I better know the how and why of my decisions. And I am forcing myself to become more comfortable with sharing my thinking so that others can know me too.

This process has not easily translated into an cogent script for colleagues observing my chess moves. My decision has some people seriously questioning my dedication to my students. And I can see their point. If I am the best resource to help student A, then it seems reasonable enough that I should do so.

My best assurance is that I fully accept the needs of student ‘A’ and also any student that may cross my path. It’s a funny sense of system connection that I have. I really try to get a glimpse of my impact on students that I have not met yet. Or even more vaguely, I wonder how will my work positively impact students that I never meet?

The suggestion  that staying stationary is better than remaining in motion is one truth. A frequent truth. But not the only truth. And to that end, I have had to hone my awareness of my team’s perception of my choices so that I could truly address their questioning, and then leave them to their process of accepting my choices even if they cannot fully understand them.

In a longish and slowish progression, I have come to accept several developmental truths about my identity as a worker/learner. And despite the idiosyncratic connective tissues in my career moves, somehow I have managed to find work that speaks to my soul.

So far I have landed in Family Studies, Guidance, Special Education, Alternative Education, and a Suspension/Expulsion program.

Which brings me back to the new job.

And even though I tell myself that I am change and ambiguity tolerant, the questions about this particular move are popping up faster than I can write them down.

↔What triggers my need for change? Am I really always on the look out for the next thing? How often is the next thing a distraction rather than an inspiration? Can it be both?

↔What indicators do I notice that suggest that my team is ready for change? How do I build capacities to manage change according to a vision statement and the day to day business of work?

↔How do I work through the ‘change is good for me, but bad for you’, binary? Am I skilled enough to recognize the power of sympathy and empathy in managing change … in myself and others?

↔How long is long enough? Can positive, realistic, measurable impact be made in short term projects?

↔Is my change making a catalyst for others to create change? Do I open up opportunities for others? What is the legacy of my decisions? Does my personal vision statement encompass my past, present, and future?