A full year (365 days; 8,766 hours; 525, 948 seconds) has passed since I attended my first ISTE in San Antonio, Texas. One of the things I'm looking forward to most about this year (and have come to love about attending other conferences this past year) is reconnecting with friends. It starts like this: recognition from across the room, a big smile followed by an even bigger hug, and then the dendrites of personal networking begin to pulse again. Because we truly care about how the other has been and currently is the questions are asked: “So how are you? How was your year?” I am good, truly. But it’s been a year of change.
Change 1: I took on a new position at the central office level in school district and moved out of the classroom. I didn’t think this move would change me as much as it did, but that was a naïve thought. By the end of the year, I was frustrated, bitter, burnt out, and utterly defeated.
Change 2: I turned 30. That doesn’t seem like such a significant change, but it has affected me in ways I didn’t know it would. My body changed and what I thought about my body changed, and this affected my confidence both personally and professionally.
Change 3: I stopped writing and blogging and retreated from interacting, collaborating, and networking on social media because of Change #1.
Change 4: In order to rectify my general unhappiness and Change #3 caused by Change #1, I resigned from my district and my position as a district administrator and took a position as an instructional coach at the campus level that would put me back in touch with teachers, students, and the world of campus climate and education that I love.
Change 5 (in progress): I’m working on accepting Change #3 and making plans so Change #4 helps breathe some fresh life back into me.
This morning as my feet first found their way to Starbuck’s for coffee and then to registration, things felt different. Perhaps it was the different layout of this year’s lounges. Perhaps it was the difference in picking up a name badge from “Attendees” rather than “Presenters”. But really, the difference was me. And that’s okay. Because if I weren’t different, if I hadn’t changed, that would mean I was stagnate – that my learning was stagnate. And that’s just not okay.