Monday, September 30, 2013

In Which We Find a New Kind of Normal

It has a been a season of change. Change in the location of my job. Change in my daily schedule to accommodation being in a new location. Change in my relationship with The Boy™.

Victor Frankl said, " When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

After 10 years of working in one school, changing to a new one was hard. We have workshop days before the kids start back, and I missed the very first one because we were off taking Corey to college, so I already felt apprehensive and lost when I showed up on my first day. The day before I got to go to my new school however, was a whole district workshop day and we all gathered together at the HS. We listened to a speaker and I saw all my former co-workers and it was hard. I left there, feeling sad and defeated, knowing that the  next day I was going to have to show up to a new school, a day behind everyone else, not knowing anyone or where anything was or even what I was doing. There was a lot of crying that night.

That first week was rough, I won't lie. In just a few days I had to learn my way around a whole new school, try and figure out who a whole new staff of people were and what they did, and then 170 kids I had never met before showed up. The good news is, only 26 were in our class, and they are pretty darn awesome. So are the staff. They have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome and included and like an essential part of their staff right from the beginning. If I was going to have to be moved to any of the schools in our district, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

I know for a fact, that my attitude about being there made a huge difference too. That night before I started there, I finally came to terms with the fact that I was moving. Despite some broken promises that had been made over the summer by the administration. I think all summer long I had been in denial, and hadn't really dealt with it. That night, I let it all out, and woke up the next morning ready to go. Inwardly I was nervous and unsure of myself, but I didn't share that outwardly. I smiled and was friendly and I never let on that I didn't want to be there. In truth, it wasn't true. It wasn't their fault I got moved, and it wasn't mine. I had decided that if I was going to have to be there, I was going to make the best of it, and I think that made all the difference.

Sometimes change is good. It's nice to be with new kids, who you don't have a history with. It's also nice to not be part of any of the staff drama, or even know what it is. I do miss the class of kids who are in the 5th grade now at my old school (well.. most of them), because I've been with them since first grade. But because I had that history, the difficult students took advantage of it and it got exhausting. Don't miss that one bit. Each day I go to work, do my job, enjoy the day, and come home. I don't have any really difficult kids this year and it's such a nice change.

I learned a valuable lesson this summer about resisting change. Actually, it wasn't this summer at all. I learned it once school started. All summer I fought this move. I looked for a new job every chance I got. I actually applied and interviewed for several, but didn't get them. I was convinced that I was NOT going to be starting this year working in a new school. I exerted  more energy and caused myself more grief and stress over what turned out to be nothing. I can't tell you how often in my life I have done that, and it's time to stop. There is always a reason for everything, and we may not know what it is, or why it has to happen, but that doesn't mean that we can't learn and grow from it.