Grateful Educator

Week 19 (of 38) – January 28 – February 1, 2019

Here I am composing my weekly blog on the bus. I’m returning back to Prince George from the Sunshine Coast. Yes… this is the life of living in two homes. I do this every 2-3 weeks, when I can. Right now, I am riding in the 257 Horseshoe Bay Express bus to downtown Vancouver… after getting off the BC Ferries from Langdale… so that I can catch the SkyTrain from downtown to the Vancouver Airport. My flight to Prince George is later tonight. This is truly planes, trains, and automobiles but throw in a bus, ferry, and taxi.

Why do I do this every 2-3 weeks? First of all, I need to return back home to the Sunshine Coast to “ground” myself. I really get that now. FIND YOUR PLACE… something that I ask in my TEDxWestVancouverED talk “Alignment.” The Sunshine Coast is one of MY places. My little family is there. My friends are there. My home is there. I love being by the ocean and I love being home, even if it’s only for an overnight stay. It fills my cup that I did not realize before until I accepted a position at the university in Prince George.

I love the work that I do. I feel incredibly lucky to teach, learn, and lead. My edu-entrepreneurial side of me is fulfilled in a way where I take great joy in problem solving, creating, and innovating. CREATE was my One Word 2018. Don’t be limited by what you believe what is. I did for years. As it turns out, I can do almost anything… if I really wanted to. Please don’t for a second believe that I’ve ever wanted to be an NBA player or cello player. No way!!! That’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve always wanted to be a CHANGE AGENT. And, I get to do that as a teacher, learner, and leader in BC Education.

I am learning a lot in my new position at the university but also contributing in ways that I never thought possible. What’s even more exciting is, I am learning that I am at the beginning. This is frightening considering I’m slightly over middle age and starting a new career. On the other hand, it’s invigorating and stimulating in ways such that I am discovering and uncovering what is possible. I love the people I meet in education… my students, colleagues, and PLN (professional learning network)… from past and present. It’s like an edu-family that keeps growing. I love the edu-reunions, collaborations, and new connections. For an extrovert, this is my JAM. Bring on the people, I’d say.

I’m experiencing a kind of autonomy that I had never experienced before. EVERYTHING I am doing is directed to my purpose: To enhance the learning experiences of students. I get to write, speak… and yes, encouraged to publish. I’ve got to get that happening in 2019. Maybe my one word for 2019 should shift from WRITE to RESEARCH. Meh… they are correlated and in my mind, mean the same thing, where my writing is not limited to research. I am still learning and know that this will lead to teaching and leading via public speaking, publishing, and conferences. This is new territory for me and I’m stoked.

In the end, big kudos to my little family who makes this all possible. As difficult as it was to live part-time somewhere else, we have reached a new norm of family being. In fact, I feel that our relationships are stronger than ever. How can this be possible? Ah yes, anything is possible. What I know is true is this… you can do whatever you want to do if you really want it. It may take some extra time, additional travel, or humbling oneself to transform from expert to novice to become an expert again. Be patient and be kind to yourself. Keep your mind and heart open to what you experience and learn from your mistakes. Nothing is ever “perfect” but we have to keep our ambition close to our purpose and model what’s possible. Sometimes the “struggle is real,” but relent. You’ll get there.

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