Sunday, March 23, 2014

Train track epiphany... | Slice 23:31

This post is a continuation of my thinking from 'Clarity: Slice 22:31'. The backstory here is that I just found out my instructional coaching position will be dissolved for 2014-15...

I kept my word this afternoon.

After dishes
and grocery shopping
and sweeping
and laundry
and a FaceTime coffee break with my mom
and fluffing pillows.

I went downstairs to the basement to work out. Like I told you I would last week. Or was that two weeks ago now?

I had a willing accomplice too. For him, the chilly basement's draw is our almagam of Thomas the Train TrackMaster sets. If you have a little boy, this term needs no decoding -- you can imagine what this blessed elbow of the L-shaped space looks like...and sounds like...and well, I digress.

While I shimmied, and jiggled, and danced, and sweat, he created. I looked back sparingly, as not to invite "Mommy, I can't..." and "Mommy, can you come over here and..." I know this kid -- when left to his own devices, he can be brilliant or a four-year-old hot mess.

As Mari and I winded down, his sound effects became more emphatic. Stepping toward a sea of smaller track sections, I became his life preserver...buoying his little spirit from fantastic frustration.

"Mommmmmmmmyyyyyyy, these pieces don't fit together. I need more straight pieces to make these two tracks connect. And I don't have them. Now what will I do?"

Like the angel on his shoulder, "Did you check the laundry basket full of spare wood pieces?"

"No, I forgot."

"Let's look together; I'm guessing we have something that will work. If we don't, we'll just try another design. That's what we do when we're stuck."

We leaned over into that lime laundry basket to find straight pieces, curved pieces, hilly pieces, and junction pieces. "It looks like we have the pieces you need, little guy. Now see what you can do..."

I should take my own advice.

I know standards. I know instructional best practices. I know workshop. I know authenticity. I know resources, lovely mentor texts, 'Choice Words', technology, personalization. I know where these intersect in some ostentatious Venn. 

I know.

So, why am I scared of a job change after five years?

Because I don't know how all the pieces fit together yet.

But I will. Yes, I will. Because just like these silly train tracks that frustrate and demand tedious revision, so does my professional life. I may need to experiment with a few designs before everything runs smoothly -- just like it was meant to be -- but it will. Again.  

So, let's start figuring this thing out. Scenario #1...

Write on,


  1. There are so many factors and emotions that come along with a job change such as yours. Sometimes it's hard to leave your comfort zone and try something new. My husband always says that I have to be dragged kicking and screaming to something different, but once I'm there, it's all good. I'm sure whatever comes next for you will be just the piece you need to fit.

  2. You are right, of course, you should take your own advice. But maybe give yourself some time to grieve and question a little. Of course you'll be super at whatever you do, but it's OK to prefer one job, and a comfortable place of knowing, over the as yet unknown. Change will come and it will be good. But for now it's OK to be sad. Just a little, just for now.

  3. It is scary to plunge into the unknown. It is hard to start over, but just like those tracks, you will create a new plan.


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