Which Way Do I Go?

“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.

A Brand New Day

“Every day I feel is a blessing from God.  And I consider it a new beginning.  Yeah, everything is beautiful.” –Prince

I’m not a morning person.  I am a middle of the day kind of person; however, as far as the school day is concerned, my favorite part of the day is the beginning.  I know that goes against who I am as a person, but the beginning of the day is a brand new day.  Whatever not-so-nice stuff I said the day before is done and over with. I can move on, and the students can move on. From time to time I say not-so-nice things.  Not often, but sometimes.  A new day means that the students can start fresh.  When they come in the room, I am at the door to greet them and get them started on a new learning adventure or a continuation of the adventure from the day before.  A new day means that if they did not understand the day before, there is another opportunity to master the content.  A new beginning means they have another chance at almost anything and everything.

As an instructional technology coach, I still feel the same way.  I like the beginning of the day.  When everything works for me in the morning, I am able to get up and out of the house soon enough so that I can get to the office and have a few moments of quiet time.  I like to have time to think about what needs to be done for the day and make a plan.  I like anticipating what is to come.  My days are very different although I do the same thing at each school.  The teachers are different, their readiness levels are different, and their expectations are different.  I like having time to mentally prepare for what’s ahead.  I like the quiet of the morning and having time to watch the day unfold.  It’s pretty awesome if you think about it.

I also like getting to work before the others so I can get a good parking space.

One Third of the Way There and Only Three Days Behind

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” –Henry David Thoreau

Today’s posting is different.  I don’t think I am supposed to be as reflective or maybe I’m wrong.  I’m supposed to list different things about myself.  I have a list to follow.  Let’s see how I do with simple directions.

Share five random facts about yourself

  1. I have beautiful feet.  No, really.  I do.  23504_10150175185995570_4788811_n23504_10150175186005570_4875383_n
  2. I did not learn to walk until I was 14 months old.  Even at a young age, I was more cerebral than physical.
  3. I hate dirty laundry if it’s not mine.
  4. I really hate peanut butter and jelly in the same jar.  I hate peanut butter, but I really hate it when it’s mixed with jelly.
  5. I have been hoping to get a twin brother or sister all my life.  I think it might happen before I die.  Anything is possible if you just believe.

Share four things from your Bucket List

  1. Go on a mission trip.
  2. Drive cross country.
  3. Write a book.
  4. Run in a 5K

Share three things that you hope for this year as a person or educator

  1. Grow in my walk with Christ
  2. Present at the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia
  3. Go back to school and finish my doctorate

Share two things that have made you laugh or cry as an educator

  1. Shaelinda’s death two weeks before she graduated.
  2. Making the mistake of watching the episode of America’s Most Wanted when they talked about her murder.

Share one thing you wish more people knew about you

  1. All I really want is to be happy and make a difference.  That’s all.