--Originally published at Flipping my Spanish Classroom
Note: This blog has always been for my own reflection. I needed to get all of this out, but will understand if you don't want to read it.
I feel as though I have been struggling through the wilderness of my career. After 12 years at Elizabeth High School in Colorado, I have moved on. As I look back on it now, I should have done it sooner. I would not trade my time there for anything, but as I reflect, I now see things more clearly and hope others can relate. If my reflection resonates, please let me know.
1. The year before I left I was angry, actually ANGRY. Although I was one of the more senior staff members, it was made clear that I wasn't ever going to be considered for a leadership role. I had written curriculum, maintained the department standards as there was turnover and we dwindled to two staff members, and always volunteered to help with anything and everything. (Well, not the teacher vs. student volleyball game...I am NOT athletic). However, I FINALLY realized that nothing I did was going to move me to the leadership table. I could not even be named Department Chair. All I wanted was for my title to reflect the work that I had done and was still doing.
2. My anger was my fault. I did not get into teaching for recognition. I knew what the school and district I was teaching in was like from the beginning. I knew that sometimes my mouth gets me into trouble (anyone who knows me can attest). It is a small district, and opportunities for advancement as a teacher were few and far between. I was able to ask questions and give feedback and my principal had my back. I know that these are things that not everyone is lucky enough to have. If I felt unappreciated by the school or district, all I had to do was look at my students and parents and I would quickly see how much I was valued. I was looking in the wrong place for validation.
3. The longer you stay the harder it is to leave. Truer words have never been spoken. This is especially true in a small community where you can teach ALL the brothers and sisters. I had taught my two oldest children and got to hand them their diploma. Leaving is HARD. However, I think I had reached the point where I was looking for more from my career and my district wasn't able to provide it. I should have realized that sooner.
So in the end we moved from Colorado in January of 2019. As it turned out, I was able to teach my students remotely for the remainder of the school year (which has come in handy now!). I left not for higher pursuits, but because my husband got a new job in Atlanta. We were happy because we wanted to be able to be closer to our older children who were at Auburn University, my brother in South Carolina and my parents in Florida. It is a move that has been good for everyone....bet you can't guess who has had the hardest time???
People, transitioning to a new school is hard! I spent the majority of the year feeling like a new teacher again. I moved from a district that handed me a book and said good luck to a district that has a curriculum map and common assessments. It has been a bit of a culture shock. I work in a department of 5 and my coworkers are all talented teachers. Just as I felt like I was hitting my stride, we shut everything down.
Now I have decided to go back to what works for me. I am going back to the flip and I have plans of using it to require mastery (but of course, COVID again) but those plans will have to wait for another year.
I am teaching Spanish 1, Spanish 1 Honors, and Spanish 2. I am recommitting to using the flip to help my students learn at a pace more comfortable for them and being able to better challenge my advanced students.
2020 - The Year of Change. Let's do this.