Making Over Third Grade!: Mixed Feelings About Change
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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Mixed Feelings About Change

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not accept change well. I look forward to things with trepidation and anxiety. All the while, working to try to manage an outcome I can live with while thinking of every bad thing that can happen along the way. Even when I want the change. When I seek it. When I instigate it. I still react the same way. So it is funny that I chose a career that only has a semblance of day-to-day normalcy. Yet it is the most amazing thing I could do with my life and despite the days (or weeks) of anxiety I can't imagine doing anything else.

Since the day the first of my two younger brothers was born I took the role of teacher seriously. (I mean he wasn't even allowed to play unless he followed my directions.) Puberty started young and this made me an outsider at school. I wasn't sure how to navigate the world. I found respite first in the school library where I was taught how to speed read and then in the kindergarten classroom where I learned to love teaching and where I discovered my desire to become a teacher. I never lost sight of this dream, but life had a way of throwing curve balls that kept me from pursuing my degree right out of high school.

When I finally became a teacher it was (of course) harder than I thought it would be but also more rewarding than I could have ever dreamt. I honestly don't know what I would do if I wasn't allowed to teach for some reason. School, working with kids, it brings me happiness in a way nothing else in my life does.

Each time I took the leap and made the decision to make changes in my job site or grade level I have done so with fear and with excitement. Sort of like the way I always feel the night before school starts. Butterflies in my stomach and a nagging fear that keeps me from sleeping but with an underlining excitement for what the new year and new class will bring.

When I started working as an Instructional Specialist and had to share my classroom with another teacher it was an adjustment. I probably wasn't the easiest person to begin sharing a room with but I have grown so much over the last three years and I know that this has made me a better teacher. This is an experience I am grateful for and one that I would not trade for the world.

Yet change comes and of course, I am facing it again. The unknown. The uncertainty. It is too much for me.  My teaching partner has chosen to accept a position to go back into the classroom full-time which means there are a number of questions that have to be answered before a new partner can be found.

I know me. I know that I am a lot to deal with at times. I know that I have issues when it comes to my classroom and my kids. I know this will make it harder to adjust to someone new coming in. This person has to be a special breed of teacher. This new partner will not only have to be able to work with me without wanting to kill me, without me wanting to kill him/her and to step into the shoes of someone who was an ideal partner. This is a short list. A very short list. Right or wrong, I have asked several people to consider applying. I have high hopes that they will and that the best of these candidates will be chosen to work with me in the coming years. This is a lot. I know. The waiting is killing me. The what ifs? The unknown, the anxiety, and the need to control the situation around me are proving to be harder than I expected (though honestly, not harder for me than what my friends expected - says a lot about their understanding of my personality and of my view of my personality at times). So here I am, cleaning out and rearranging closets and drawers at home (and at school), starting projects for next year, and focusing on the small things I can control. All in the hope that it will help me deal with the unknown. Wish me luck that it works!

How do you deal with change? What are some things you do to keep your anxiety levels down?

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