July 17, 2015

Last Class?

I taught my last class today at the school where I served for 18 years. It was surreal and strange. (Well, it was summer school, so that might have had something to do with it.) My run lasted longer than I expected, but then, what differences have our expectations ever made on our outcomes? My eldest daughter was born the year that I started on this campus; she graduated last month. I think the timing is rather poetic.

The first year that I worked there my classroom was down the hall from a teacher who taught the same subject in the same classroom for his entire career (35 years). I asked him if he ever felt the desire to change. He said no. He said he felt content. He liked his job, he liked his classroom, and he liked his students. So why make a change? I feel the same way about the job I just finished. So why did I make a change?

I tell people it was because of my desire to help my own children (I have six), two of which are now in college. I want to help them and my oldest son with their college debt. I also want to do a better job of preparing financially for my youngest three to attend college, many years from now. When I talk to people I share about the value of growth, and the desire to do something different, to “change it up.”

But the bottom line is that, just like Walter White, I did it for me. And I’m proud to be moving on, and moving up. My new assignment is a big step up, and will be a real challenge. I’ll still be working in public education, but at a new campus in a new town in a brand new position where I have no history of accomplishment, no familiar colleagues, and no idea what to expect. Awesome fun!

This is all happening faster than I expected it to, and not without some trials. I will be commuting about an hour each way, my days will be longer, and I will not see my children and wife nearly as much. Hopefully that will be temporary. While I could never have predicted the circumstances that brought me here, I look forward to the unpredictability of this new challenge and all of the opportunity it will provide.