This is the end of my 28th year of teaching. Twenty. Eight. Years. That sounds astounding when I say it or put it in writing. How is it possible that time flies by so fast? How is it that when I look in the mirror I don’t always recognize that seasoned teacher who looks back at me? Suddenly the admin on my site are all younger than myself. I work for a superintendent a decade younger, and there are more frequent times when I feel like I am those “old teachers” that the young ones talk about. I find that experience can be an asset, or an assumption made about what I will say or do in a certain situation. It can also be a struggle to realize I have less years in front of me than I do behind me, so it begs the question, what will I do for the rest of my career? What will be my legacy?
So this will be my twenty ninth summer.Summer is a time of renewal, and rest. It’s time to put your toes in the sand and take yourself out of your comfort zone. Every summer I take time to sit and reflect on the year past, and plan what I can do to reset and refresh for the next year. I don’t really know how to just sit and relax. I don’t even pretend anymore that I will, because it just isn’t in my DNA. This summer, by definition will be a working summer. I am fully immersed in the doctoral work. Although I will be dedicating a lot of time to writing and reading this summer, it is something I am passionate about. I am writing a book instead of a traditional doctoral thesis. I’m setting a new course in my journey. There, I said it out there for all the world to read. I am writing a book. So that means a lot of butt in chair, pull your hair kind of writing. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. It is forcing me to evaluate my own teaching situation, my pedagogy, and quite frankly, the impact I want to make in the educational world before I retire. It means I may be taking my career in a new direction. I have to walk away from some things in order to make space for others. It’s having courage to try something new, and to believe that my experience and age can be an asset, and that it isn’t too late for bold adventures. Big thoughts, big dreams.
So here’s to those of us, young and old who boldly put their dreams out into the world. I hope that you find time to follow your passions, and take steps, even small ones to make positive change in your life.