Sunday, November 18, 2018

Change is one of our greatest teachers

As I've grown older, I've come to own my insecurities as well as my strengths. I also take ownership of my own happiness. My personal growth is something that I work on every single day, and through that I have learned the powerful effects of 2 things: controlling the messages that play in my head and practicing gratitude

Each day I practice quiet time and reflection, and I think of at least 3 things I'm grateful for. As the year is winding down, my thoughts have taken a wider scope as I reflect on goals, dreams, and actions for the year and those to come in the new one. I ask myself, "Because of my 3 words for 2018, what has come into - or gone out of - my life, for which I am grateful?"
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I've journaled, blogged, reflected in quiet thought, and talked with trusted friends about my fears, dreams, goals, and pitfalls throughout this year. As I step back even further for that "balcony view" of my life, there's a couple of pivot moves that have happened in my life that have brought me to where I am now and for which I'm deeply grateful. 

While in high school, my family moved to Birmingham, Alabama. I was able to experience junior high while I lived in Chattanooga, since we moved the summer before my junior year of high school. The schools in Birmingham were 9-12 high schools, so I was able to have two different high school experiences as a student. At the time of the move, I thought it was the most horrible thing in the world. Looking back, it was one of the most beneficial changes in my life. 

As an educator, I am grateful to have worked in four different schools throughout my long career. The first four years I served as a teacher and coach before I got out of education for two years. I then worked in a school for nine years, six of which were as a classroom teacher and three as an assistant principal. My next stop was a two-year stint as a high school principal, and then I went to my fourth school where I currently serve as assistant principal in my tenth year at the school.

These changes in schools have been on my mind and heart lately, as I have been talking with a new assistant principal in a neighboring school. The growth that happens when encountering new routines, people, and ideas is tremendous. As I mentor her, I am able to draw from the lessons learned at each of those experiences to help lift her up in her new role. Had I stayed in one place for my entire career, I don't know that I would have had as much growth as I have had over all these years. Each of the right turns that I made throughout my career (and life) have helped me to grow personally and professionally. For that I am grateful.

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