Pot Kettle Black

Here’s a photo from the archives. Me and my kid… more than 10 years ago. Where does the time go? I just dropped off my kid at school… “nagging” her about something… of which, I followed up with a text message, “don’t be your own barrier to your success.” Can this be the pot calling the kettle black? Here I am THINKING about what my next GOALS are in life. This is a great place to be when I have recently met my life goals. The sad part is, I’m panicking. This is worse than “what am I going to do when I grow up?” because I’m a grown up. I have friends who are within 10 years of full pension and I’m thinking about what my next career.

I don’t want to be a pessimist about the whole situation. I love that I can spend time with my daughter in ways that I could not had I been working full-time or commuting into Vancouver. I feel very lucky. I could not have finished my dissertation (my lifelong goal) had I not left teaching. I understand that now. The struggle for me right now is letting go of what was and imagining what could be. I have lofty dreams for education and how it could be. I think we are moving in the right direction, but I often wonder about teaching, learning, and leading. What is my role in education? I am a parent and school trustee. I know this for sure. I am doing some research and in the midst of writing academic articles to be published. I know this for sure as well. But, what is my next goal?

Letting go is part of this process. I’ve been working on my CV. It is pretty clear that I have left teaching in K-12 schools and working on research. The last time I taught in public schools was in 2010… which by the way a former parent, now teacher, recently complimented me on my teaching from 8 years ago. I taught her eldest son Math 8. It’s nice to know that my legacy still lives on and I know I had a positive impact on students and their learning learning as a secondary mathematics teacher. My former students are my biggest cheerleaders. I would consider myself a researcher practitioner but find that my “qualifications” are not a perfect fit for various positions that I have applied for and wish to apply for. It’s either I don’t have enough experience as a researcher or I am no longer in the classroom, which means I don’t have recent experiences. The domino effect begins. Then I start to believe that I’m not qualified for any job. This is a problem.

Maybe I should be considering something else. I am heartened when former colleagues, current colleagues, and administrators are willing to give me a reference. I have plenty of references. I feel very lucky. I even cried once because I never knew I had this kind of support. I am very grateful. I am also overwhelmed when colleagues say that I am meant to do something “bigger” and that one friend had encouraged me to “take the leap” so that we could “save education” together. Timing was not great for me because I was still trying to complete my first lifelong goal of becoming “Dr. Christine Younghusband.” My husband always says that I’m too busy “saving the world” via education… and I know that there are many, many other edu-folk out there who have spent their lifetime trying to shift education (and continue to do so). What is my place in this edu-movement?

Well, as you can read, I am still in the midst of figuring this out. In the meantime, I will continue to be a mom, I will publish a few articles, and I will complete the research project I am currently engaged in as an affiliated scholar at the Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy (CSELP) at SFU. I don’t want to be my own barrier to my future success. Anything is possible. It’s about setting a goal and making it happen.

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