Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Bright Side of Bad

Sioux's Page by Sioux states,

“If you have any job stories--stories about you making a change and thinking it was a bad one but it ended up being a positive experience--I'd love to hear them.”

I have a couple changes that happened in my life that seemed like a disaster but turned into a blessing.

Years ago I taught at a high school that my husband attended as a teen. We lived in the community and I loved working at this school. I knew a lot of the students and parents so I saw these people every day. This was my idea of a community school. I had been there for 6 years and had a new principal the last 3 years. He was not one of my favorite bosses but he didn’t seem to have any complaints about me. Then one day I found out that I was going to be split the next year between 2 schools which upset me. I felt I had seniority over another teacher and felt that I had been slighted. Then as a cheerleader coach, I had a run-in with the football coach and the principal didn’t back me up. In fact, he wanted me to lie to the cheerleader parents which caused me to totally lose respect for him.

Within 24 hours, I found a new job in another county about 45 minutes away. It broke my heart to leave a school that was only 2 miles from my house but it was a fabulous change! At my new school I was respected and in a couple of years, I became the department head there. The principal was a great encourager and helped me grow professionally. I was at this high school for 9 years and loved it until I got a new principal. He did not seem to like me but I did my job. My principal wanted me to convince one of my students to shave the Mohawk haircut he had but the student refused. Then one day that student was arrested for disturbing a school bus for saying a cuss word.  Because he was 18 years old, he could receive jail time for this. I was told to go to court and not to say anything good about this student but I felt I couldn’t lie in court. This student was a straight A student in my class and extremely respectful to me and other adults. In fact, he was no discipline problem at all. When I told the judge that I was not allowed to say anything good as per my principal, the judge got extremely upset. When the judge called my principal and warned him about tampering with a witness, I knew I would have to find a new job.

Within a week, I found a new job at a high school only 15 minutes from my home. I was crushed because I had expected to stay at my old school until I retired but resigned myself to starting at another new school. When I interviewed at the new school, I was amazed at how much they wanted me there. They made me feel so special that it was hard not to feel excited about this new job. While I was there, I became head of the department and had great support from the administration and other teachers. I couldn’t believe it when one year the entire faculty elected me as their Teacher of the Year. In fact, I was a top 10 finalist of 5000 teachers in my district! I don’t think this would have happened if I hadn’t come to this school. Thanks to this move, I had my professional dream come true.

Each time I was devastated at leaving a familiar situation and heading into the unknown. Each time the move was better for me. I grew professionally in ways that I could not have done if I had stayed where I was. Each move made me feel excited about teaching again even though I had not expected to feel this way. Even though at the time I felt like I was experiencing a disaster, I ended up with a blessing.

So when things seem to look bad, try to look at the bright side of bad. You might end up being in a situation where you are more successful. I think change brings about growth and growth is never bad.

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