Professional Development Opinion

Preparing for the New Adventure

By Starr Sackstein — August 16, 2016 2 min read
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Since the interview, I haven’t really gotten much information about the particulars of my new job. I made it through July and now that we’re mid-way through August, it’s time to get ready for the adventure.

Today I head into the city for some training that will last three days on how to run a teacher center. Although I have ideas swirling around my head like celestial bodies in orbit, the concrete realities of the space are an anomaly.

Much like teaching was when I began, armed only with what it was like to be a student for many years, the misconceptions ran rampant and often stunted growth because I tried to replicate what I thought I knew. Although I have made use of a teacher’s center at my first school and grew close to the woman in charge of it, my only real experience of what goes into running a teacher’s center was the first three years of my career.

That’s why the next three days are crucial to my understanding.

Here’s what I’m hoping to learn:

  • the particular expectations of my day to day
  • how to balance my role as the teacher center resource and the school’s initiatives
  • how much time I’ll be spending outside of the school day with the resource center
  • what the schedule for events are throughout the year so I can plan accordingly
  • if I get a budget to stock the space as I need for the particular uses of the teachers in my school
  • any particular protocols and strategies that can help me be a more effective coach to my peers

As you might expect, I’m nervous and maybe even a little anxious about the new job. Although extremely excited since I accepted the position, the realities of not returning to the school I called home for nearly a decade have started to sink in and aside from the feelings of sadness about that, the worry that I won’t be able to do this job to the best of my ability sometimes lingers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know I’m capable and I’m a hard worker and even though I don’t know the particulars yet, once I do, I’m certain that I will work to my fullest to be the best at meeting the needs of those I’m working with. Sometimes the doubt comes in being able to balance my life, raising my son and my growing career. Being a single mom (my son’s dad is very much in the picture though), the distance from home is something that is of concern.

My son will officially be a latchkey kid in the fall, starting today. He goes into the sixth grade with a key and a cell phone and a lot of time to himself since this new school will be more demanding of my time in that it is farther away and I’ll be required to stay late on few days a week. Honestly, this is my greatest concern for the new job. Maybe not my ability to be a great coach to the teacher, but my ability to be a great mom while I do it.

As Logan is getting older and so am I, he will naturally start spending more time away from home, but letting go is so hard. Just like starting something new after so long, watching my baby grow up and knowing that I won’t be there for as much of it now is troubling. But this is my life for today and I’m trying to trust that it won’t be as bad as the worst case scenario.

Making big changes in our lives after we’ve grown comfortable is always a challenge, but the possibilities are so exciting and offer so much potential. It is how we work with those realities that determines how successful we will ultimately become. So I’m ready to jump into this journey, both feet together, eyes wide open, heart and mind open as well.

What do you do to stay grounded in the middle of a lot of exciting change? Please share

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