# 49 Change is Inevitable Growth is Optional

# 49 Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

Photo courtesy of forbes.com
Photo courtesy of forbes.com

You're in your graduation gown and you feel like flying,  fingers tightly clasped to the string of your kite. You run and run, feeling the wind in your hair as the breeze gently separates your dressy outfit from the crease of your gown. You have never felt this exhilarated and it seems this moment will never end. Breathlessly you climb to the top of the hill when all of a sudden your kite string surprisingly leaves your hand. You watch the pretty colors and wonder how something so beautiful could so quickly disappear from view.

The Kite symbolizes teaching. When you start out you feel so confident and prepared. You know your class will be great and you will have a supportive principal, as well as coworkers and parents. Then you enter your classroom and the action really starts. The first thing you learn is that students do not magically listen to you. There was no class at University that addressed student behavior. You are on your own. I have worked for a principal who evaluated teachers based on how often you sent a child to the office. After all, good teachers know how to control their class. You start to realize you don't have supplies you need, and you either buy them yourself or go with out. I once taught math at the same time as a coworker and there was only one teacher's guide. We were told to share. My co-worker spent $60.00 and bought her own teacher's guide. That story was a very long time ago, and I'd like to think things have changed since then.

Teachers can be very  clicky to other teachers. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Even if you are kind and try to do your best, some people will exclude the new teacher from meetings, changing classes, and meeting notes. When ever something unreasonable happens you can feel your kite string get shorter and shorter. A snip of appreciation comes off your kite. You hear unkind words and another snip. Over time, you have tried to do everything possible to be positively recognized, and instead it gets harder to teach with your initial enthusiasm.

The principal is directly in charge and has a responsibility to monitor the building, The principal sets the tone for the atmosphere of the building, You can become included by sharing instructional information on your current unit of study. But it is not easy  to get back in the loop. Stay after school until your planning is completely done for the next day, which can easily take three hours a night. You can not change the behavior of others, but you can change the way you think about it. Continue to do the best job you know how. Sometimes it is just better to stay away from toxic teachers because you do not want to turn into one of them. Although everyone has bad days, you can always reach out to a friend, or send an email to me. I would love to hear from you and would never reveal your identity.

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