Have you ever thought about changing schools? I thought about it for three years and occasionally looked at the postings at the end of each year. Unfortunately there were no postings that matched my teaching area for quite some time but an opportunity finally came up….. and I jumped on it. I am 2 months into a new school after twelve years in the same building. Of course I miss my colleagues at my old school but I have not looked back.
Despite missing the people I worked alongside, it has been great meeting new colleagues and working towards forming new relationships. In the workplace, I had almost forgotten how fun it is to meet new people and learn about them. That statement goes for the staff and students. My extended period at my old school gave me a large amount of familiarity as I had worked with all the different staff members to some capacity, and had taught almost all the students in the entire building, and their siblings. One of the biggest surprises however is how much I am enjoying my new anonymity in my new school. I am actually finding it fun starting from the bottom of the totem pole and working my way up, so to speak.
Since moving and having to learn about a new building (and about the in-house processes), I feel that my learning curve is quite steep at the moment. Even though it is more work, I feel like a learner again and that is incredibly refreshing. I used to look forward to professional development days where I could be a student again but I get that feeling every day now. I will admit that not being able to find anything was a little annoying at first but the steepness of the curve has turned out to be more like the gradient of a challenging downhill snowboard run. Its as if my pupils are dilated, my heart is pumping, and my senses are more in tune with my environment. I hate to say it but I was coasting in my workplace. I find I am leaving work exhausted every day now but full of satisfaction from being more aware and engaged with what I am trying to accomplish for myself as an educator, and what I am trying to accomplish with my colleagues and students. The other day, I decided I would join my new colleagues in their annual hockey pool. I figured it would be a great way to meet some people, and test my luck. However, I got lost and actually walked by the room the pool was being held in three times! I had to be a problem solver myself. Like I expect my students to figure things out on a daily basis, I finally figured out where the hockey pool was held. Unfortunately I was so late that I had the last pick in the pool!
At this point, September seems a long time ago but the change has been so refreshing that I feel I am doing some of my best work. I’m sure at some point the novelty will wear off but it doesn’t look like any time soon. Is some healthy change in order for you?