Sunday, August 26, 2012

Embracing the Struggle

It’s back-to-school time, and my brain has kicked into high gear. This year I am embracing a new professional challenge as I transition from a classroom teacher to an instructional coach. I will use my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction to serve both teachers and students at Ginnings Elementary School. Exhilaration and trepidation envelope me as I march forward into the great unknown, and I am constantly inhaling and exhaling my “one word” for the year . . . uncertainty.

The steep learning curve of this new role has given me a deep appreciation for struggle. Acclimating to a new school culture and adjusting to a completely different schedule creates angst and insecurity. I think I’m being stretched beyond my zone of proximal development, and sometimes it’s uncomfortably painful. I know what a first day of school looks likes as a classroom teacher, but I have no idea what to expect as a reading specialist. I’ve spent over 10,000 hours working with kids, and I feel confident teaching reading and writing to children, but when it comes to working alongside my colleagues, I feel woefully inadequate.

I aspire be the best instructional coach I can be, but I know it will take time and practice to become proficient in this role. In these early stages of change, regret tempts me, and I long to return to the safety of the familiar. I miss having my own classroom, and I feel like a ship lost at sea. My new team and I will go through the traditional stages of development: forming, storming, norming and transforming. Even though my cognitive side knows the process can’t be microwaved, I tend to rush the steps too quickly, creating undue stress and anxiety. Being gentle with myself and embracing mistakes will be essential if I hope to grow and mature as a teacher leader.

Monday morning will be a day of new beginnings for me, and I hope I can pause long enough to reflect on what truly matters—being present and embracing hope. I am a perpetual learner, and this journey I’m embarking on will be a new adventure full of strength and struggle. I invite you to join me as I respond to life's lessons through written expression here on my blog. May the road ahead be full of delightful surprises.


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