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Certified PreK-6. Masters in Child Development. Advocate for play, teacher & children choice, & the family's voice. Believe in volunteering as social justice.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Change: #Kinderchat Blog Challenge Three

I've got to hand it to my friend Amy (@happycampergirl); who knew that one word prompts could elicit such a high level of reflection?  I know that each of the prompts has elicited strong emotions in myself and I get the sense that it has in other's as well based on the content in their posts.  This week's #kinderchat blog challenge centers on the idea of change and stirs up those same strong reactions.  (Which may be why it took all week to actually write it!)

I really lucked out with this shot at the beach. It's kind of breathtaking. 
Once I got Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" out of my head (drat, there it is again), I began to think about the changes in my life lately.  And there certainly have been enough of them in the past year.  Changes beyond the big ones (which I've also had too many off!) such as moving in with a roommate for the first time in years to save money and graduating grad school and saying goodbye to the people who most support me as they move across the country in search of jobs and adventure.  But also changes that were more subtle.  Changes like becoming the type of professional I want to be, learning to advocate for myself, taking chances and pushing myself to try new things in the field.  

And of course, there are still many changes still in progress.  Obviously there are the big changes still ahead (starting a new job, somewhere, sometime and starting a new decade of life), but there are also the small changes, those habits of mind, that need to be cultivated before the large changes can happen.  Specifically, I am trying to be more open minded and forgiving...of myself.  

I am constantly giving others another chance, another opportunity to grow and change, another stab at friendship when I've been let down, but I don't give myself those same passes.  When I don't interact in the manner I would like with a family at the museum, when I have an awkward interaction with a colleague, when I disappoint a supervisor; I dwell on these moments.  I agonize over these moments.  I do not let them go; I do not forgive myself.  And this is something that needs to stop.  Both for my own peace of mind, but also for my professional life.  How can I give the best of me to children and families if I don't give the best of me to me?

I am also trying to be more open minded, flexible may be a better word, in terms of my future.  At graduation, I had a strong opinion of what it is I would be doing in the next stage of my professional life.  I had come to this decision after a year of internship and fellowship and reflection.  I had a plan, darn it, and being a high achieving brat, those plans were going to happen.  Because I said so! Well, we all now what they say about man making plans.  I've spent the summer frustrated and sad and completely unsure of my future.  And then a classmate called me and told me of a job opportunity she wanted me to consider applying for.  She told me to just listen (she had been in seminar with me for a year, so she's quite familiar with my plans) because she really thinks this is a good opportunity for me to explore.  So I listened.  And I reflected.  And I decided to be more flexible in my plans and to apply for the job and see where it takes me.  Is it what I want? Not exactly, but it's also not what I don't want.  And maybe that's okay; I know my non-negotiables, those things that I definitely don't want, and this job has none of them.  In fact, parts of it are very appealing. Maybe the fact that I don't not want it is a good start to being flexible.  I have an interview Monday and as part of changing these habits of mind, I am being flexible with my thoughts going into it.  

Because, it may end up being something I do want and I can't let the fact that it doesn't fall into the plans I had in May detour me.

So, thanks for hanging in there for this rambling post on change.  But seriously, those habits of mind, I think they are the hardest things to change, but the most important.  And the same can be said for our students and colleagues.  No real change can happen until with shift our mindsets.

He had no idea that I took this photo. It's so optimistic; thought it was fitting.


  1. I think those who care and are passionate are always so hard on themselves. Finding a balance in life is always hard. Thank you for sharing your reflections.Wishing you good luck on Monday.

  2. I love your post. So open and honest. Sometimes, most of the time our plans don't go the way we want so change is needed. Thanks for writing it! Oh now, I have that Michael Jackson song stuck in my head. LOL