We all have that point in life; the one where you have to make a decision. Maybe it happens more than once. It certainly has for me. I’m not just talking about the small decisions. You know, whether or not to wear white after labor day.
Fortunately, Rachel and I have another thing in common, too. We’ve got a hell of a group of friends at our side when things go amiss. If you know me, then you’ve heard already that I decided to leave my career comfort zone. I’ve been teaching elementary general music for eight of my ten years in the profession. I took the leap and will be teaching middle school choir and drama.
(Okay, so that’s high school… and as much as I love Glee for the life lessons, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how far way from reality it is. Judge away. :p )
Full disclosure? This is the most frightening thing I have ever done, and I’m divorced and remarried! I find myself wondering on a daily basis if I have what it takes. Teaching middle school is not the same as elementary. By and large, elementary students are more forgiving if you screw up. Middle School students have memories as long as Trump’s nose should be. In making this change, one goes from dealing with tiny humans to dealing with larger, more awkward humans; who find themselves caught on the precipice of young adulthood complete with raging hormones which bring about an emotional hurricane that rivals the Great Flood.
With that, I’ve brought about the blinding panic again. When I step away from it, though, I can see that sometimes it’s necessary to leave that zone of complacency and test your limits. When my head says, “How can you expect to motivate middle school students when you can barely motivate 4th and 5th graders?” My logical side replies, “You’ll be seeing students who -chose- your class, every day. Not just twice a week for thirty minutes.” That thought alone makes me feel a little better. That is, until the eyes of a first grader peer up at me as I hear, “I love you.”
See? Plenty of reason for me to second guess myself once in a while. I don’t think I’m the only one who has ever been here.