Learning, Risk-Taking and the DENsi Connection

rafranzdavis Professional Growth 4 Comments

There are three types of people in this world. There are those that do, those that watch and those that wish that they did. Which one are you?

my old classroom

my old classroom

I don’t know exactly when I started getting “gut” feelings, that spiritual tap within that literally says “move”. I can say when I recognized it for the first time. I had just hugged my last student goodbye for the summer and stepped out of my classroom. I looked back once more and something inside said, you are done. At that moment, before I even considered applying for a job outside of the comforts of my hometown, I knew that I would not be back. I’ll never forget that moment.

The next time that I felt this, I was standing inside the office of my new school as a newly hired math strategist. A student happened to have just found out that he completed requirements over the summer to graduate. Our counselors and dean of instruction gathered lines of teachers to form a pathway. I had no idea what was going on, but then the music started…pomp and circumstance. As that young man came around the corner of our office, in his cap & gown, walking between lines of staff with his diploma in hand…I felt it again. Except, this time it was a feeling of “this is where you belong”. In that moment, the fears and uncertainty that I was experiencing ceased.

This past school year was incredible, ending with me accepting a position within the district as an instructional media specialist at our new STEM academy. I’ve written about it here in an open letter to my new school. My dream is to one day be an instructional technology director. I was thrilled to be moving into this role. I even went to walk my new library but the result of that was not what I expected.

It didn’t feel like mine…like home. It wasn’t just the library. The entire school felt wrong. I called Kristy Vincent, Β and told her what I was feeling and at that moment I decided to leave it alone because it could’ve been fear of the unknown…a new job. Looking back, I know that it was my “inner spirit”, telling me that this was not it.

Then came DENsi2013… (Discovery Education Summer Institute)

While sitting in my dorm room, I saw a tweet come across my screen from Amy Mayer.

 

 

Arlington is close enough to my hometown, yet far enough to actually move. I felt another jolt and after consulting with my DENsi2013 roommate, Kristy Vincent, I applied…without hesitation. The next day, I received a call to interview. The problem was that I was in Vermont and they are in Texas…not a problem. We scheduled it via Skype. I’m including this because during my interview as I stared into my Macbook I had that inner feeling again. This time, it was telling me that I needed to be in that room, with that group of people…on that team. It wasn’t about the job or the title, it was the certainty of being THERE.

I received the call offering me my new job and I cried tears of joy and relief. I have never been this excited in my entire life. Monday afternoon, I will meet with the assistant superintendent of Arlington ISD and formally join the team as a district instructional technology specialist. I have much to learn and am looking forward to growing with my new team for years to come. This is IT.

My dream is now my reality.

The lesson here is this…

To be a “doer”, you must be willing to take a risk knowing that it could be a wrong turn. Listen to your inner self and choose to do, watch or regret.

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