This will be the second in a series of blogs on things I learned from life and how they apply to life. The first is here: didacticchad.weebly.com/home/edu-life-lessons-injury
Moving is tough.
Even when it is a good thing, it is tedious, exhausting and hot. Especially when moving in Texas. In May-July.
This summer, I moved in three different ways- I moved out, I moved around, and I moved up.
I will start with the saddest parts of moving- when you leave. I spent the last couple days helping one of my best friends move out of their home and away from College Station. It hurts to see people we love leave, and at the same time, we are excited for their new journey. There is a mix of emotions that adds to the normal stress of moving out. When we moved out of our old home, I felt some of this- we were leaving where memories were made, experiences shared, and dreams birthed. But we where not leaving our town. Our friends are not just moving out, they are moving on (super secret 4th type of move coming up later).
Our students and fellow teachers move out as well. They leave their rooms yet sometimes stay in the same building. Things are mostly the same, but still different. We see them less, relationships change, and there is excitement yet sorrow at the loss of what once was.
As educational practice goes, we have to move out of doing things a certain way. We have to leave behind well developed lessons when standards change. We have to finally acknowledge that overhead projectors are NOT dynamic presentations. We have to accept that the way we learned it is not how our students learned it. So at the very least, we have to move around.
For the last two years, I have been in the basement of my school with limited interaction with other teachers.
This was not punishment.
I got the chance to move up to the second floor for next year which means some changes. Most notably for me- my Vitamin D levels should go back up as I will get some sunlight. It also means I need to alter my coffeehouse classroom design somewhat. Not a total overhaul, but adjust must be made. The first was the coffeebar lost the bookshelf backing. Mostly because there was no way I was taking a massive solid wood bookshelf up essentially three floors. Now it will be a window seat for students.
As educators, we sometimes move around. We teach new content areas, we try new things, but we are essentially rearranging the furniture a bit. We do not leave our school, maybe not even our room, but things are a bit different. This can be an exciting move, one that we choose to pursue to keep things fresh. Or, it may be mandated- in which case you still need to try to find a way to make the changes your own. Moving Around is a great way to take ownership of your educational career.
The final move I experienced was also the first move I did this summer. Or rather, moves. We moved into storage, then into a new house.
This is not recommended.
Moving Up is awesome. You move into something you define as better- perhaps bigger or newer or with something you never had before. For us, it was a spot to put the trashcan in the cabinets.
We have been using our pantry for ten years. My wife and I still go to the pantry at least once a day to throw out trash because one of the toughest parts about moving up is that you have to learn a new role.
That is true in education. I hope to move up to administration someday- and if I do, I cannot do some things the way I do them now. As a classroom teacher, my "trashcan" is in the "pantry" but as an admin, it is in the "cabinet." For me, this will be how I handle discipline. It will evolve somewhat- become more intensive and have more weight behind it, but it must still hold onto the soul of how I do it now- by focusing on relationship. See, I still put the trash in the trashcan, I do not change that key part of life when I moved up.
Finally, Moving On
I am not moving on. But someday, I might. To a new campus, a new district, a new state- even a new career. When I move on, it will not be sans all the things I have collected over time. I will take the things that matter with me.
When we Move On in education, remember to take the things that matter. The notes from parents and students, the relationships built, the memories made.
Take the things that have made you who you are- and they will move on with you.