“I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: love, belonging, trust, joy and creativity to name a few.” –Brene Brown
When I was a little girl, I thought I was going to grow up and become a Supreme Court Justice. My plan also included a husband and six children. The life I am living is vastly different than the one I had planned. I realized somewhere along the way that you can’t really plan your life. It just happens. Somewhere along the way, my plans changed and I ended up where I am today. Today I am an instructional technology coach. I used to be a 4-H Program Assistant, a Girl Scout Field Executive, a Girl Scout Community Development Manager, a Girl Scout Leadership Development and Product Sales Manager, a Girl Scout Program Manager, a Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club Director of Education, and a teacher. Throw in jobs during my undergraduate career and the time right after graduation. I’ve done a lot and had a lot of experiences. I am glad that all of what happened has happened because that’s how I got to be where I am now.
Today’s blog challenge asked me to envision how my teaching will change over the next five years. I don’t think I can. Actually, I don’t want to. I think if I plan how my teaching will be, I will miss something along the way. I am where I am now because I let myself, or maybe God led me, experience things that weren’t planned. When I began my career with the Girl Scouts, I expected to spend thirty years working for the organization. I planned to move up through the ranks and become the Executive Director of a local council or even of the entire organization. While I was making those plans, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She fought for 18 months but eventually died. Not long after her diagnosis, I left my job in California to return home. I knew my place was at home with my mother. That experience wasn’t planned, but it was necessary for my growth as a person and as a Christian.
After my mother’s death, I began graduate school and earned a degree in Rural and Small Town Planning. While in school, I made plans to work as a planner. Of course, my plans changed. Shortly before I graduated, I realized I really wanted to become a teacher. I applied for a job as a teacher, and that’s what I have done for the last 11 years. True to form, I began my teaching career planning to spend 30 years in the classroom. I taught and again went back to graduate school. A little voice in my head told me to obtain my leadership certification. I did because I thought I would become a school administrator. That didn’t happen or at least it hasn’t happened yet. At the end of the last school year, I applied for the job I currently have. It wasn’t planned. It just happened.
When I make plans, things change. I can’t say for sure how I see myself in five years. If I am still doing what I do now, I would like to think that I would be more comfortable speaking in public. Although I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice, I have never liked public speaking. I’m not sure how I would have done as a lawyer in a court room. I also would like to think that I would be well-versed in all aspects of my job. I don’t like not knowing something. Technology changes all the time, and I want to be the person who knows everything. I know that’s not realistic, but that’s how I am. I just like to absorb knowledge. I don’t think my teaching will change over the next five years. I will change, but my teaching will not. I won’t predict what will happen. I will just enjoy whatever experiences I have along the way.