Sunday, March 3, 2013

New beginnings

It's funny how I can define my life in numbers. Math has always been such a big part of my life and I always thought I'd be a teacher forever. I've been a high school math teacher for almost 16 years, but last year I started getting a little itchy. I love my school, I love the kids, I love the people I work with. Yet I wasn't really content with where I was. I felt like I was in a rut.

Fast forward to about a month ago.  A friend on twitter posted a job opening with McGraw-Hill, and that got me thinking that maybe a change could happen.  After going back and forth with him about the position, I decided to submit my resume. It was nice that I knew that by doing this I wasn't making a commitment to anything, but by doing this I might start to open some doors.

One day after school that week I met with a friend who works in our district office. I totally respect her opinion; she's good at giving me ideas to think about that I never would have thought of before. After discussing the opening at McGraw-Hill, she mentioned to me the possibility of working with her friend, Mary, at a company called Math Solutions. Apparently it's a company that does professional development for math teachers. They've mostly worked in the K-6 age group but are now expanding into junior high and high school.

I met with Mary yesterday for breakfast where I was able to find out a little more about the position with Math Solutions. It really sounds like a neat opportunity, the only worrisome thing being the possible amount of traveling that could be involved. While I love to travel, having 2 kids ages 6 and 9 who are involved in sports pretty much year-round could make things tough.

I've decided that I'm going to move forward with the possibility of working with Math Solutions. It's scary; my only "real" job has been as a teacher and I'm now looking at leaving my comfort zone.

My friend sent me this quote. It's so appropriate for where I am right now!

If you feel both excited and scared, that is it. If you're just excited and not afraid, there is no challenge, no stretching, no initiation; you are still in your safe zone, and growth is unavailable. If you're just afraid, there is no positive motivation. Why walk through a fear unless there is something you are walking toward? But if you are simultaneously turned on and frightened, do it and watch your growth skyrocket.

Alan Cohen


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