Embracing the unfamiliar – thoughts on change, life and teaching

My life this summer can be best summed up in one of my favorite quotes by Woody Allen – “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”. There were lots of lows, but the tip of the iceberg was an unexpected phone call which made me decide to move house and do so as soon as possible. Moving house is no easy thing, but we decided to make our lives a tiny bit more difficult and find then move to a new place within a week. So, as you can imagine there was lots of pressure, tiredness and stress.

Moving to a new place always brings mixed feelings. You close one door to open a new one – to open a door to change, to something unfamiliar. As you pack your things you can’t help but pack emotions, moments and experiences with them. You carry these emotions with you to a new place and you try to build a new life, one that combines the past with the present.

As I was – and still am- in this process of settling in, finding my p(l)ace in a new environment, the teacher in me couldn’t help but reflect on how change is so much related to teaching. And how helpful it is especially for us teachers to get into a learner’s shoes since we’re all learners of life’s mysteries and challenges.

It reminded me of the power of adaptability and showed me that even in the weirdest of times there’s a strength within us that drives us forward. It’s the same strength that we need to resort to when the going gets tough and we or our kids feel like giving up.

It also however made me more understanding of how vulnerable our students often feel when entering a new class or trying new things. They also carry past memories of learning and try to find their way into the new learning experience. They also unpack boxes of their learning experiences only to decide later on which “items” to keep and which to throw away.

Finding our way through change is bittersweet- exciting yet confusing, hard yet rewarding. Embracing change and accepting it as part of the norm doesn’t necessarily make things easier – it helps us though build resilience, become more patient and kinder to ourselves and those around us. 81c86f2727926d650de5fa5c77cfe1b8

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2 Comments

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  1. Maria, what a great post! I also took a flying leap of faith a few months ago and left a position I had been in for 20 years to move 4 hours away from my hometown for a new challenge. It keeps us fresh, and it keeps us young!

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