I heard one time that people go through one major change every ten years. The idea is proving true for me. The most recent change I experienced (and am experiencing) was leaving a job I had for 23 years to come to GCC. To say that I was rooted in that location, tied to the people, traditions, and processes would be an understatement. I started and grew my career there, and I involved myself in as many parts of campus and district life as I could, from sponsoring clubs and coaching sports to helping teachers experiencing discipline and being an officer in the teachers’ association. To come to GCC meant leaving the familiar and comfortable for something different, something new.
Being in that state of unfamiliarity is a strange place to be. It sparked reflection about the big questions in life. It jostled my confidence a time or two. Sometimes those things happen and cause a change. In this case, the change provoked what I can only call growth.
By far the biggest assistance I’ve had in this change has been through my colleagues, the opportunities I’ve experienced, and our students. My colleagues have accepted me with the friendliness of a thousand Quokkas.
I’ve attended conferences that have allowed me to stretch my classroom practices. Finally, teaching is teaching, and while students are students, the ones at GCC are particularly friendly, eager to meet their goals, and, though a little concerned, generally optimistic about their futures. I’m optimistic, too.