Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Coming Back Home

I recently read my friend, Brendan Fetters' blog post and it had my thinking about my journey.

When I think about risk, I think back to the end of my 2nd year of teaching.  Up to that point, all of my life experience pretty much revolved around Central Ohio with the exception of going to college at the University of Dayton, which was less than hour and a half away from my parents.  I was enjoying the beginning of my teaching career, but I was eager for a change from the comfort and familiarity of the past 24 years.  If you follow me, I frequently use the terms lifelong learner, collaboration, growth mindset, and risk taking.  I believe we are better together and learn by making mistakes or taking risks.

In 2015, I had an offer in Raleigh, North Carolina to teach full day Kindergarten at a creative arts and science magnet elementary school.  After teaching half day Kindergarten, I dreamed of someday being able to teach full day Kindergarten.  Although half day Kindergarten has its benefits, I always felt rushed and that I wanted to do more with my students.  However, I was uneasy about taking the offer.  I would be 2 plane rides away from family and college friends.  I knew 1 person from my PLN who worked in the district and also happened to be from Ohio.
'No matter how far I roam, Ohio will always be home sweet home"

On August 5, I made my way to Raleigh with my car and moving truck loaded.  I came from Central Ohio to the unknown of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Since that moment, I've had no regrets about my decision.  I immediately fell in love with the area.  With the weather and being a short drive from the beach or mountains, Raleigh became comfortable to me.  I was also fortunate to make a solid group of friends within a month.

While I have made the best of my experience the past 2 years in North Carolina, I am thrilled to head back home to Ohio in August.  I will never regret this experience.  I am so excited to be close to those I love and start a new chapter that is a great fit for me.  I am continuing my journey as a full day Kindergarten teacher.
The 6 schools I've worked at added value to my career and life.  In fact, there is a past principal I keep in touch with as well as former teachers from those schools who taught me many lessons.  I am so grateful for those who helped me grow in my professional journey.  After reflecting on the past school years, I can see how everything happens for a reason and that things work out the way they are supposed to (even if I was not sure at the time).

Ohio: the heart of it all.

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