Prior to the start of the new semester, a wise and dear friend of mine commented that he stopped reading my blog posts as it pained him to read about my struggles teaching; his wife is a special education teacher, so he knows of the challenges all too well. He suggested that I revisit my decision to teach, for if I did not enjoy it, I might need to consider moving on.
While the impact of his words did not take full effect until later, I thanked him for taking the time to share his thoughts with me. We also discussed getting together to see a movie, which I need to attain an element of balance in my life; the last movie I saw with friends occurred a few years ago with this friend and a couple of others from our mens group.
Earlier today, I sent the email message below to my friend, letting him know how much I appreciated his comments. I share them to reveal my intentions for this year, and the struggles I need to overcome to fulfill those intentions. We all have our crosses to bear, yet they should not stop us from reaching new heights or setting ever higher goals for which to strive.Dear friend. I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts with me at the recent general meeting. My recollection is you mentioned you needed to stop reading my blog posts since it pained you to read them as they revealed my struggles teaching…and that if I did not find something positive about teaching, why continue…or something along those lines… Your comments steeped within me for a few days mixing with my reflections of the past semester, and the sense that I needed to make changes ASAP or lose my mojo for teaching. So, I decided to make some changes this semester, which helped me start the new year off on an upbeat note! I’ve maintained that outlook for much of the time, too. I struggle with staying positive (with myself mostly), which is my growth opportunity, but commit to overcoming this self-limiting way of being his year. I’ve mostly overcome my challenge of being positive about my work (hence, my career switch), yet with the challenges of teaching, I’ve allowed myself to be ground down by it. And with my attempt to document it via reflections, in the hope of improving it someday, I lost sight often of the good teaching brings to me, my students, and society. Anyways, I wanted to let you know you helped set me back on a positive course. I truly value your friendship and appreciate your kind thoughts and suggestions. Peace. Dave
Ironically, as I neared the end of my ed program, I foresaw the potential for me to lose my passion for teaching, and wrote about it. Thankfully, I also blogged about my philosophy for teaching, along with my many reasons for pursuing this new profession. In times like these, I can re-read my convictions to clear the fog that myriad everyday activities tends to bring to us.