I will be heading into my 10th year of teaching this fall. In the past 9 years I spent the last 4 years as a gifted education teacher. During my time as a gifted education teacher I have really immersed in this field and primarily how to meet the needs of children in the classroom. I have found a deep passion for gifted education in general and have worked very hard to be one of the best teachers that I could be.
Towards the end of the school year a new position in our district was created. This job is an Instructional Coach. The thought of this job intrigued me. I am not sure why, but I really felt an urge to take on this position. The job requires one to help with curricular areas grades 6-8 primarily in science and social studies, meet with teams to help review assessment data, plan instruction to meet PBL and Common core, model and/or team teach, help provide feedback to teachers, work with administration, and help to lead professional development.
As I talked with many people and spent countless hours stressing with my wife about what to do I decided to go for it. It was not easy because I do love my gifted classes that I teach. It was not like I dreaded what I was doing, but at the same time I could feel a sense of burnout slowly creeping much in the way that it did when I started out teaching sixth grade(why I moved to gifted).
I was fortunate enough to get the job. I am quite excited. The excitement does come with nerves as the future is now a little blurry. I don't know what it looks like, but that is part of the fun. I have several challenges ahead of me and I am excited to come back and connect and network with teachers. I look forward to connecting online with other instructional coaches and learning. It is all about learning and this gives me a new chapter in my life to push my learning boundaries.
The one thing I will not do is leave gifted education completely. I might not be teaching it anymore, but my passion for it is just as strong. I will continue to stay current in the research and help meet the needs of these students when I get a chance while networking with the teachers and classrooms. One thing I did learn this year through one project is that there are so many more amazing kids doing amazing things that are not labeled "gifted" that I must connect with. Over the last four years I have been able to connect and work with some of the coolest kids ever, but my reach has been limited to this population. This new job will allow me to stretch and reach all kids and that is a huge seller for me.
I did not write this post because I felt that everyone should know about the job. I wrote this post for my own benefit. I still have days where I get a little nervous about the job and question decisions I have made. You cannot look backwards and stress about the past, but until the school year starts it is hard to sit around and not do so.
I have already begun to fill my schedule with some big challenges for the year besides the new job, but feel it all connects in the big scheme of things.
1. I will be presenting two times at the World Council for Gifted and Talented in Kentucky. This is by far the largest platform I have ever been accepted to speak at in my life. The theme is creativity so it should be a great one!
2. I have decided to write a book this year. I am starting by turning my Twitter course into an ebook and then moving on to writing a book for teachers. Still working on framework at this point.
3. During the school year I would like to create an edcamp type event. One for parents and the community and another one for students. These are my two big goals for the school year to help bridge connections. I think it could be stellar!
4. Simply be the best I can be at my new job!
There you have it. As you can see some big change coming. At times it can be scary, but the excitement that comes from change is so worth it. I am ready!