The Only Constant

As several Scripted Spontaneity readers have noted, I have been less than diligent about posting over the past few months.  While I have found Twitter to be a great resource for sharing small bits of news (and for building my PLN), there is really no substitute for a good old-fashioned blog entry.

One of the biggest reasons for my inconsistency is that my teaching position was uncertain up until a few weeks ago.  I knew that I had a spot at my current school (who would fire a ToY Boy, right?), but I also knew that my current track and grade would not have room for me.  Due to a frustrating convergence of factors that included the normal delay in determining next year’s enrollment exacerbated by an ongoing court case against my district, my principal could not tell me anything until late May.  Now, this may sound like plenty of time to adjust and plan for the school year, but on the year-round schedule we begin in early July.  I knew that I needed to spend my last track-out break of this year planning for the first nine weeks of next year.

It might help at this point to explain that I entered this esteemed vocation via a state-supported lateral entry program, and was hired in July 2001 at my current school.  I have been teaching eighth grade Science on my current track (with the same two teachers as teammates) for the past seven years.  My career thus far consists of one track, one grade, and one subject (sometimes supplemented for one or two periods per day of another) at one school in one state.  While this has allowed me to hone my lessons and tweak my pacing year after year, it also limits my perspective and restricts my ability to see the “Big Picture”.

Most of that will not shift for me this coming year, but a good chunk of it will.  Any change can bring that strange mix of fear and anticipation that makes one simultaneously want to dance and vomit, but even more so when the very presence of change represents something new in itself.  I know now that I will be on a different track with a different schedule, working with new teammates, and teaching a new science curriculum.  There will be challenges and there will be moments of complete failure.  I know this.  But, I also know that I will learn things about myself and my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher that I would not otherwise.  I welcome the feedback and advice of my many friends here in the blogosphere.

And, above all, there will be plenty to blog about. 

photo credit: iStockPhoto.com

2 thoughts on “The Only Constant

  1. Dude,

    One of the greatest things that has ever happened to me during my career was being forced to move from a position of comfort to a position of discomfort.

    I definitely put the emphasis on the word “forced,” too, because I’m one of those guys that would never move if I didn’t have to. I like consistency.

    But every time I’ve been forced, I’ve grown. And most of the time the situation was better than the previous one.

    You’ll kick it’s buttocks!
    Bill

    PS: I’m being “forced” again this year—-having to teach social studies and science on a three person team. I’ve taught science three times before, but it’s never an easy experience for me. Besides, I end up missing language arts way, way too much!

    PPS: If you’re teaching sixth graders, we should get our kids working on some digital projects together. Drop me an email and we’ll work something out.

  2. For a middle schooler, everything changes so much in just three short years. The beginning of sixth grade and the end of eighth are eons away. So, exactly three years later, rereading your angst and anxiety about this particular change seems fitting, especially as you prepare to make your second complete team and grade level change.
    .
    “I also know that I will learn things about myself and my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher that I would not otherwise.”
    .
    I hope this happened for you, as it surely did for me. It’s worth noting that three years ago, not much changed for me… at least on paper. Not my track, nor my subject, nor grade…nor three fourths of my team.
    Yet so much did.
    .
    I truly hope and wish for you three things:
    • I hope more moments made you want to dance rather than vomit.
    • I hope you get what you need from your new placement.
    • I hope you learned half as much from me as I have from you.
    .
    And Mr. Ferriter’s prediction was right. You kicked its buttocks.
    .
    <3 -E

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