Change is happening all around us, at what feels like, a more rapid pace than normal. The world is changing, our country is changing, the way we engage with people is changing, the way we educate students is changing, big change is everywhere. For some, change is hitting a bit closer to home. When change is self-selected, it can be fun and exciting, but when change is happening to you, it can be daunting.
When I started my career, I was teaching at the middle school. After 12 years, I was comfortable and had no intentions of leaving, but change was happening, and I was being transferred. I was devastated! I didn’t want to leave, as this was my home, and my coworkers were my family, but this change was not up to me. It was happening whether I liked it or not. As I was still reeling in the wave of shock, a colleague said to me, “You know Renee, sometimes God shines light on areas that need light shown.” This statement sat with me. It helped me open my mind to the possibility that maybe it was time. After a dozen years I was quite comfortable. I probably would have never left if I wasn’t pushed, but was staying put really in my best interest?
Fortunately in education, when you’re transferred at the end of a school year, you have the summer to adjust to the change coming in the upcoming year. Instead of staying attached to the past, I swiftly shifted my thinking about the future and embraced the impending change. When I transferred to the elementary level, I quickly found a renewed sense of excitement and inspiration. My career was revitalized and I realized this change was meant to happen. In hindsight, I can look back and see the signs of burnout that were hiding in my blindspot when I was living in my comfort zone.
It’s important not to get stuck on the way things are or the way they used to be because once it has ended, you cannot recreate it. A moment, an experience, an energy you felt, none of it can be contrived no matter how hard you try. I have actively worked on refining my attitude towards change. Change stretches us and helps us grow. I no longer resist it, as I am aware it’s the only constant in life. The sooner I embrace it, the easier life is going to be, so I need to have faith and learn to roll with it.