Forced change is never easy…you don’t know it’s coming and likely aren’t very prepared. It throws you off your normal day to day routine and leaves you in a mess of jumbled thoughts of what ifs. Last week I found out that I was being involuntarily transferred to another school in my district to be a Math Interventionist. This wasn’t a job I applied for, or even wanted, but yet there it was and it’s now mine. I don’t even know what the job entails or what this position does at the middle school level, but I hope to find out soon! This happened while I was at NCTM in NOLA, which helped to keep the reality at bay for a bit (Thank you Twitter friends for your distraction!). One of my best friends was texting me, checking in on me and stated a few times that I was going through the grieving process. That made me think and you know what? I was and thus this post was born.
Stage 1 – Denial & Isolation
- See the story ACTUALLY starts with me being assigned to teach Spanish and Math at a completely different middle school in my district, which drove me straight to denial. I do happen to have a decent amount of credits in Spanish from college, but I haven’t spoken Spanish since around 1998. There is NO way anyone wants me to teach Spanish and it isn’t listed on my teaching certificate. The denial part comes in because I emailed my principal and told him I couldn’t teach Spanish and that kind of put me in a holding pattern while he checked it out. I was hoping this was a bad dream and by telling them this info…it would all go back to normal. That was not the case, they just made a spot for me in another middle school as an interventionist. Being in NOLA kept me isolated from my colleagues and hashing the whole situation out, that might have been a blessing in disguise.
Stage 2 – Anger
- Anyone who saw me when I found out all of this…you deserve a huge hug from me. I was a mess…12+ years in the same school, with the same people, my best friends and now I was being moved? I was devastated and so angry, honestly I am not even sure that describes it. I am still upset because I love what I am teaching this year and really wanted a crack at it next year to improve my teaching and the learning of my students.
Stage 3 – Bargaining
- My desire to regain control of my situation drove me (& my friends) to the “If only” and “What ifs”. Oh the wild and crazy things we have come up with! It’s nice to dream and wish things would go back to the only reality I’ve known for 12+ years.
Stage 4 – Depression
- Honestly, I’ve skipped this step for now, but I know it’s coming in full force in the future. I am sad every day as I pull into the parking lot and being in front of my classroom, I have to stop myself from continuously thinking “This is my last quarter with my own students.”. If I don’t stop myself, I will go crazy!
Stage 5 – Acceptance
- I think I hit this stage when I called my parents to tell them and then asked my dad to help me build shelves in my garage for all of my teaching stuff. From what I do know about the position, I do not have a classroom or my own students, so I won’t need 95% of the things I have. This will afford me the opportunity to purge items which will be nice. I have also accepted that I won’t be back at my current school regardless of what happens from here on out. I am so afraid of leaving my friends, two of my very best friends and losing touch. I do know it’s within my control, but all teachers know we lose ourselves in the middle of the year and it’s so hard to keep up with what you are doing, let alone what your friends are doing.
Change…it’s not easy, but I am going to put myself out there and try and take control of my change. There is an amazing opportunity to teach at a new STEM partnership school in my district, so I am applying for that. In addition there is a position at the district office that I will applying to as well. Now that I have accepted change, I am excited about the opportunities that exist and where I will end up.
I had to update my resume and I wanted to jazz it up while keeping it clean and detailed. A big thank you to someone who shared their recent cover letter and resume with me, I don’t want to share names because I am not sure it was a public thing…but seeing someone’s wording for recent contributions made it easier for me to update my stuff. Last time it was updated was 2009 and it was stark and boring. So I used powerpoint to create the file below. I have obviously removed personal information, but wanted to share anyways. :)