I remember the first and last day I had lunch in the lounge at my first teaching job. These veteran teachers were so much older, angry, and bitter, I could not believe what they were saying. It was so foreign to me but could it be my future fate?
Throughout a career, most of us are shaped and molded into different people at different stages of our career. Different circumstances twist and turn us down paths we have never traveled. Each adventure shapes us into a new person.
I have been around long enough now to recognize these patterns in a teacher career and have lived through most of them:
optimistic, does not apply to me
wronged, can’t believe I was done that way
isolate and stick to class (comfort zone)
return to optimism or start down a pessimistic path
I don’t know if the “me” that started in 1993 would understand the “me” from now. The cycle takes its toll on nearly every teacher that I have come to associate with and it is difficult to advise a newbie about their foreseeable future. Over time, it becomes something we will all share in common.
However, I finally feel that I am at a point in my career where I am no longer subject to the cycle and it feels great. Maybe it is the experience or a conscience decision or a little of both. Perhaps I feel confident enough in myself and my skills that I could leave the profession and be just as successful doing something else. Could it be I learned to find good in everything and emphasize it more than bad? Now I feel like I am equipped to continue on a very progressive path despite circumstance or odd changes in my teaching assignment.
In contrast, it is tough to see those that are near and dear to me heading down a path that is very negative, full of stress, and emotionally taxing. Some may never change their path while other return to optimism, as the cycles continues.
Have a great week!