The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
We all make decisions, every single day, that upon accumulation, result in the outcome of our life. Turning left or turning right? Turning left, you bump into your oldest friend, go for coffee and plan for a glorious weekend away. Turning right, you see the beautiful coat you’ve wanted for an eternity is now reduced. Either way, change is inevitable.
Four years ago, almost to the day, I was at the cross roads. Turn left or turn right?
I was stuck in a school that did not align with my professional beliefs or personal values. I was tired. An insurmountable workload, a marking policy that meant I was working every evening until the small hours, and pulling a full 9-hour shift every Sunday. Behaviour which saw me using my lunchtimes to wipe tears from eyes or spit from face, and a pedagogical system that was not fit for purpose. I could no longer cope. I would drive to work each day hoping for something to happen which meant I couldn’t go in.
One day it did, on my drive to work I had a searing pain like nothing I have ever experienced. Crawling to my department, a swift emergency call and a stay in hospital saw me written off from work for 6 weeks. I am not ashamed to say, I was relieved. Despite my personal circumstances, at least I didn’t have to go there, for a while at least.
It was right there and then that I knew I couldn’t continue like this, I needed a change. My initial thought was ‘anything but teaching’. Until the day I saw a post advertised at a school in East Yorkshire. I had wanted to move there nearly all my life, much of my family already lived there and it is truly beautiful.
And there we have it, my turn in the road. The decision, that led to a change, that leads to now. A school that is perfectly aligned, is supportive, develops me as a person and a professional, and where I have been fortunate to meet some of the very best friends I could hope for.
This catalyst for change started 4 years ago, and it is the best decision I have ever made. My life has changed immeasurably, and for that, I have huge gratitude.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Whilst times are turbulent, let us focus on the new, the positives. This is all that we are certain of right now: everything has and will change. Possibly forever. And that’s really not so bad.