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Grateful November: If the love’s gone, make a change

Today a friend asked me how I’ve been. “Great,” I said. But then I thought about it:

I’ve been FANTASTIC.

I changed jobs this year. I moved to a school about a 25 minute drive from my other one. Love is not a strong enough word, but really, I love going to work every day.

The students are great, but that’s not it.

The building is new, but that’s not it either.

Another friend, a colleague from my other district, was on my campus on Friday. She roamed the halls and found my classroom. We hugged and talked for an hour.

She is not fantastic.

I listened. I remembered.

Meetings that never seem to accomplish much. Students who “own” the power in the school but don’t put their strengths toward learning. Lack of planning time. Mandated policies. All things that kill the joy of teaching for a perfectionist like me, and my friend. There is not enough time in the day to do it all. I believe most teachers would agree.

Maybe we care too much. I thought that a lot last year. The third in my growing unhappiness in a system growing out of control.

But now? I am at a place where the principal supports his students and his teachers. He manages with insight and thoughtfulness. He’s respected because he takes the time to show respect. He holds meetings when necessary — not out of routine. Is there any better sign of respect for his teachers than to respect their time?

So, today when my friend asked me how I was, it gave me pause. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am grateful. I am grateful to my former district for the opportunities I had to grow as an educator. They are many. I am grateful for the trust of some administrators who believed in my skills and my passions. (I know you know who you are.) I am grateful that I listened to God when He said, “It is time for a change.”

I would have left the profession. I almost left the profession.

But now, my heart swells with love for students who trust me to help them learn. And I feel humbled and grateful for the trust and welcome from new colleagues who believe in my skills set. They’ve made me feel at home.

Grateful November

grateful November

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7 thoughts on “Grateful November: If the love’s gone, make a change

  1. […] I couldn’t help thinking of my own situation last year. I almost left the profession, too. (I wrote about it here: Grateful November) […]

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  2. David November 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm Reply

    Your students have reason to be grateful too, Amy, that you’re their teacher. Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. jackiecatcher November 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm Reply

    Beautiful post Amy. So pleased that you found a place that appreciates all you have to offer. Your students are so lucky.

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  4. Mindy November 16, 2014 at 9:50 am Reply

    I wish I could move to a place like that.

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  5. motherofallreaders November 16, 2014 at 7:46 am Reply

    I made the decision to change 4 years ago when I decided to get my doctorate. I was in a miserable situation similar to your old school. I also found a place that appreciated my strengths and supported my learning. That change also led me to associate with great learners like you. I’m grateful that God takes care of us and leads us where we need to be. I don’t know where that will be for me as I’m searching for a professor position right now, but I know I’ll learn and grow there. I’m so happy for you!

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  6. steelmsl November 16, 2014 at 6:21 am Reply

    Wow! How lucky you are to find a school where you feel valued. Stay put. I’ve been teaching for over 40 years and couldn’t agree more that when the love is gone, it’s time for a change. Luckily, I am in a district where the love is still there. I have not only the support of a wonderful principal, but also the staff. It’s what keeps me going each day; what keeps me excited about walking in the door. Thanks for sharing this piece. Sometimes life and its demands keep us running on the teaching treadmill – we need to stop a moment and appreciate.

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    • Erika Bogdany November 16, 2014 at 11:08 am Reply

      “The teaching treadmill”…what a great phrase to encompass what so many educators feel, yet continue on walking and running in a stationary position! I think it takes courage what Amy has done here…to seek out possibilities in finding a place that feels “right”. If we, as educators, are all brave enough to do so…imagine how much more students would be getting!

      Just like students who move from school to school, in search of finding one that suits their individual needs…I think we as educators deserve to do the same. Finding an aligned vision with our own pedagogical beliefs is part of the magic. Students benefit when we are where “we need to be”…when our teaching souls are on fire, our craft on an upward spiral, and our love for educating fostered.

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