Through my experience with Edublogs’ EduBlogsClub, I got to know some very interesting and insightful educator-bloggers. One of my favorites was Michelle Pacansky-Brock. Now that the EduBlogsClub prompts are done, she has started The Reflective Writing Club as a professional development offering from @ONE (Online Network of Educators which is the result of a grant from the California Community Colleges. Michelle has done an impressive job of crafting the learning experience – from setting up a learning management system to reminder emails, she hasn’t missed a beat. So while I had intended on catching up on my remaining EduBlogsClub posts, Michelle’s group started and I figured I would stay on track with that instead of falling behind.
The Reflective Writing Club Prompt 1:
Identify a time in your past and think critically about differences between then and now. How have you changed? What do you know now that you wish you had known then about yourself, your profession, other people, technology, or life in general?
What jumps to mind immediately for me with this prompt is me from three years ago versus me now. In 2015, I felt that after 15 years in the classroom it was time for the next stage in my career as an educator. I had long desired to become an instructional coach. I had applied many times within my own district over the previous 5 years, only to be rejected every time. 2015 was different, I was finally accepted by my district as a teacher on assignment/instructional coach. I was thrilled…and scared. I had an amazing position at an amazing school and I was about to give it all away for the unknown.
Over the past three years, I have suffered a lot of professional disappointment since leaving the classroom. I am careful about writing too much about them as it has always been of the utmost importance to me to keep things positive on my blog while being as authentic as possible. I have become more cautious, critical and closed since leaving the classroom as a result of what I have experienced. So what would I have told my 2015 self? Get ready for a very bumpy ride. Learning and growing isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Don’t become cynical and don’t give into the sadness. Remain the optimist you are and know that there is always light after the dark. Everything happens for a reason, and it is up to you to make the most of life’s lessons.
5 thoughts on “Reflection”
I had only ten years in the classroom before I became an “instructional designer” 12 years ago. There is an amazing feeling being in a room full of people and orchestrating some of the events that happen. The choreography of the classroom is missed. But, as an optimist as well, I am not sad.
The classroom was sort of my domain. Really I always saw it as “our place.” That is, the students in the room along with me. As an instructional designer I do not have that same kind of community. Or it is not as defined and repeating. And there are larger structural/institutional issues that challenge me.
I think it is fine to be critical of things. Not in a mean spirited way, but to offer up alternatives is healthy. Good work and glad to see you here.
Thanks for your comment Todd. I too consider myself an optimist, but it’s hard not to get down sometimes. The important part is always picking yourself back up and not letting the challenges weigh you down. I am a firm believer in learning and that occurs most when things are particularly challenging. I agree that being critical is good, but there is certainly an art to it so that one is not coming off as mean spirited. I definitely miss the classroom and all of its challenges, which is why I am striving to get back to the school site so I can work with both students and teachers to build a positive and supportive learning community.
Last year I spoke with a local K12 superintendent, and she gave me a tour of the offices in the building. I was introduced to a number of tech coaches and instructional design type people. It was great. Good people who no doubt do good work. But, we were no where near a school… I know that many schools have people like us embedded in specific schools, but I wish all the folks who can help were standing with the teachers, no in offices off site. Get into those classrooms or coffee shops with the faculty 🙂
I identify with your situation. I, too. like to keep the positive focus, even through the issues, blocks, and disappointments that arise. I wrote about teacher voice in my post — to keep valuable programs and strategies going through admin turnover. And we continue to “make the most of life’s lessons.” ~ Sheri
Making the most of life’s lessons is so important! As someone who is aspiring to be an administrator, it is very important to me to not forget that I am an educator. I worry about the ‘us vs. them’ mentality I see between administrators and teachers. We are all educators and we should support one another and the programs/strategies that do good for our students.