Living In The Wake

I have a zillion things to do but I choose write when I am inspired. So, here I am. I just returned from the BCSTA Academy, a provincial-wide professional learning event for school trustees. The academy is an opportunity for trustees and senior management to gather, learn, and connect. I love reconnecting with friends, regardless of title, to check in to see how they are doing. There are such good people in education and these events offer me hope, inspiration, and happiness. I have such a good time at these events.

Admittedly, I had mixed feelings going to this event. It’s my first provincial event where I am not part of the Board of Directors. I was able to spend more time with my local board and other school trustees… and I had less meetings, which was nice. On Thursday, I ate lunch at the restaurant and worked on my UBC MOOC course. It was a great way to reunite with trustees as they arrived to the conference. On Friday, I had to teach and missed the plenaries by Ivan Coyote and Dr. Evan Adams. I’ve seen them both before and heard great things. I did attend my Board of Education’s session on creating Communities of Learning, had dinner with my Board, and watched We Were Children at movie night hosted by the BCSTA Aboriginal Education Committee. My weekend conference concluded with Vaughn Palmer and Dr. Shimi Kang on Saturday, which I really enjoyed.

So why am I blogging? I realized that I am LIVING IN THE WAKE. I appreciated all of the accolades and kinds words on completing my dissertation and doctoral work throughout the weekend. I loved how some trustees wanted to know more about my dissertation and my research, I also struggled with questions about what’s next. I felt uncertain and had nothing to report. My answers were: “I don’t know.” “I’m undecided.” And, the classic, “Maybe.” I almost felt like I was letting people down with my uncertainty or lack of commitment. In truth, I went to this conference intending to find answers, look for clues, and gather information with hopes of finding some direction to what’s next.

I had a long conversation with someone about why they completed their doctorate and why they had decided what to do what they are doing. I talked to trustees about their WHY and why they became school trustees. I shared some of my uncertainty of what’s next with others and possible directions I could take hoping to receive some feedback on what they thought was important. What caught my attention was one comment made to me by a school trustee after movie night. She congratulated me on my doctorate and asked what I am doing with all my time now. I responded with “I don’t know.” She said, “you are closed;” I am not open to listening to what I need to hear on what I am meant to do next. This spooked me out. She named it. I am looking, but I am closed.

Throughout the conference, I wanted to hide. I didn’t want to talk about myself or what’s next. Weird, I know… especially for those who know me or who where at the conference. I am visible, present, and apparently loud. I love how my secretary-treasurer said that he could “hear SD46.” A colleague said that she new I was around because she could hear my laugh. My board chair points out my extroversion at a meeting and mentions that there’s much to learn from someone who is extroverted. I get it. I am out there… but I did not want to be open with others. I just wanted to reconnect with others and hope to hear what I wanted to hear. Hence, the mixed feelings, as mentioned earlier.

I keep looking back and thinking about returning to the math classroom or what I’ve done before. I think about the limitations, not the possibilities. I look to others hoping that they would just tell me what I should to do. I am scared about what’s next and procrastinate on what needs to get done to move forward. I’m sure that I’m not alone on this journey. I need to listen to my heart. My head gets in the way many times. As one friend said to me, “you think too much.” This may be true. The answer must come from me. I am not the same person as I was 7-years ago, so it’s a poor expectation to return back to where I was. I have changed, I am changing, and I want to change. FINDING MY PLACE.

In order to find my place, I do have to open myself to what’s possible. I have to LET GO of what was. Finally, I have to take action. No more “maybe’s.” Commit. Do. Learn. 

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