8 months ago I was approached about leaving the classroom. As someone who has known she wanted to be a teacher from the first day she knew what a teacher was, this thought had never really crossed my mind. I loved the work I was doing in the classroom, and though the hours were long and the culture of education wasn't always the best, I didn't have any career regrets. 8 months ago I sat and cried at my dining room table trying to figure out if this is the next step I wanted to take in my career. If I was ready to leave the teaching team that had been my family for the last 5 years, if I was ready to be responsible for something at the district level instead of just my own classroom level. 8 months ago I made the decision that in order to grow I was going to have to take a risk, to push myself outside of my comfort zone. With the support of my husband, my family, my teaching team, and my administration I accepted the job as Merton's Science and Technology Integrator and step away from life as a classroom teacher.
To say that I am not Nervous would be a lie. After 5 years in the classroom I had become pretty good at setting things up for a new year, knowing what to do on the first day of school, and how to channel first day jitters into smiles and laughs. Now as I prepare for this school year, I find myself unpacking an office for the first time ever, leading professional development, and hoping that the enjoyment I find in technology and science will wear off on other people. The nerves I have are not the nerves that trigger the flight of fight response, but the nerves that feel like butterflies before going out to perform a recital. They are the nerves that let you know what you are about to do is important, that it matters, and that you care. They are the types of nerves that I am OK with because they remind me that I am ready to go.
The Enthusiasm and eXcitement that I am feeling for this school year if different then previous years. I am enthusiastic about the potential that my position holds. The potential to help people see past what they have done in the past and what they could be transforming into doing in the future. The enthusiasm to take the "I can't" and turn it into the "I can't, yet." It is enthusiasm to work with students in all different grade levels, and to plan and co-teach with teachers all over my district. It is excitement to have the flexibility in my schedule to support people in the things that they are enthusiastic about. I am excited to be doing something different, but also to be doing the same things that I have been doing in my own classroom for year. I am excited that the possibilities of creation, exploration, and technology are my job to explore every day.
As I enter this new career and adventure I am placing my Trust in the potential others have seen in me and the amazing staff I work with. I can not be successful at this job on my own because it isn't about my own group of students in my own classroom. I am trusting that the people around me will accept me into their classroom communities and trust me to lead them in the right direction. I am trusting that when I make mistakes I will be forgiven, and that when I don't have an immediate answer I won't be criticized. I am trusting that this is the next step in my career in education.
Being a STEM integrator is what is NEXT for me as I move into the 2016-2017 school year. I hope that whatever is making you Nervous, Enthusiastic, eXcited, and Trusting in this school year also brings you joy. My principal, Jay Posick, had a saying to make this the Best School Year yet, and I have a good feeling this is going to be. Happy 2016-2017 school year everyone! Embrace what is NEXT!