Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Coincidence or Not?

I was listening to an Oprah podcast as she interviewed Dr. Wayne Dwyer, when the conversation came to the definitions of the words coincide and coincidence. According to the Free Dictionary, one definition of coincide is: To agree exactly. Yet the word coincidence according the Free Dictionary is: a chance occurrence. One implies it is meant to be and the other word means that it is an accident. I found it interesting that both words with the same root can be used to mean completely opposite ideas.

Now you are probably wondering where I am going with all this, so hang in there with me and I’ll try to get to the point. I started to think about when I retired from teaching public school and how I thought it was the end of my teaching career and how I would miss it. Yet, in fact, this has resulted in the complete opposite. Since then I’ve been asked to teach on the university level to teachers in the master’s program, I have contracted with the school district to evaluate teachers, I have done professional development for different organizations, I have been involved in a daily blog to help new and struggling teachers, and I’ve connected with others in the educational field all over the world. Is this an accident or was it meant to be?

I had taught in a school for eleven years and expected to retire while teaching there. Unfortunately circumstances came about where I didn’t want to teach there anymore. It was heartbreaking to me to look for another job but I found a new position quickly. Once I started my new job, I realized that this was meant to be. It was a wonderful job with wonderful colleagues and a wonderful administration. If I hadn’t taken the risk, I would have missed this chance to experience something really worthwhile. At the time I was very anxious and apprehensive about making a new beginning. I imagine that many teachers even feel this way when they see new technology come out but maybe if they give it a chance, it will end up being something great.

This year I have joined twitter, started reading many educational blogs (as well as personal ones), made new friends and connections, attended professional development activities through ustream and podcasts, and even attended the Upstate Technology Conference. By being involved in all of these, I have grown professionally in ways that I never imagined. I have had to rethink my philosophies and retune the ones I feel strongly about. By being connected with others, I have been able to learn so much in the way of strategies for the classroom as well as technology use in the classroom. I believe these connections were meant to be and didn’t happen by accident. I’m not sure where this is all heading to but I’m sure enjoying the ride.

In my heart, I believe there are reasons things happen and that they are meant to be. Sometimes when we look at the future right in front of us, we don’t see where the road is leading us. Yet, when we look back, it is easy to see the way we’ve come and where we were headed. Sometimes we just have to have a little faith in things that were meant to be. Many teachers have decided this summer to transfer to new schools, start new jobs, or even get out of the field of teaching. I hope that when it comes time to make these decisions, as long as you know in your heart that it is the right thing to do, it will all work out all right.

Photo credit: A walk into the bamboo paths by El fotopakismo

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