Last year at this time, I had recently signed a contract to work at a new school for the following year. The spring was dark, cold, and dreary. Winter seemed to drag on until May.
Those last few months at my previous school were difficult. I seemed to have countless meaningless meetings to attend. I had to hide from certain colleagues because any conversation I had with them made me crazy. Their anger and resentment at the school, and life in general, was too oppressive. I also had to somehow tell my students I was leaving. And I tortured myself with “Will the new place be any better?”
Teaching seven different classes of students and prepping for 5 courses meant many an early morning and many weekends were spent at work. Running between 3 different classrooms, in two separate sections of the building, I often didn’t know where my classes were or if I had what I needed with me to deliver the lesson. And whenever I wanted to try something new, test out a new application, or when I asked, “Can I open the windows in the 30 degree heat?” I kept bumping into the walls of no, No, NO!
The writing saved me. By writing down what I was doing with my students in the classroom, by giving a voice to my thoughts about life abroad, I was able to stay sane through it all. By documenting my work and life experiences, I was able to drown out the negative and focus on what was going right in my world and in my classroom.
Writing about teaching helped me to process my work in new ways. Without the ability to collaborate with likeminded others, blogging helped me to make new connections. It helped me to put my feet firmly back on the path I had envisioned for myself. I knew I was good at what I did, but talking it out on posts, to whomever out there was reading, boosted my excitement in making my classroom more interesting and engaging.
Writing about what I was doing also put me in touch with so many new and interesting colleagues. Some are teachers like me. Some are in their last year of teaching, some just moved to a new job, and some are just beginning their careers as educators. And I have gained new insight from the many experts in the field of educational technology.
I have bonded with other expat bloggers who also share about the highs and lows of living abroad. I have learned from writers how to be informative but personal and how to be funny but not inappropriate.
Where I work now I have found a supportive work culture. My colleagues and superiors see me as a valuable team member. Instead of hearing no, I hear yes. And because the workload is manageable, I have continued to write. I have received positive accolades for my writing and have even been published. (see pg 33)
It’s good to look back and see the 90 posts that led me to this spot. I’m in an excellent place, but I’m also excited to see where the next 90 posts take me.