In Here’s My Future I’m talking about my transfer from a traditional school after seven years to an integrated, more alternative school and all the changes that this change brings for my profession.
I’m sitting at my school right now, as the minutes tick down to my grandiose, silly goodbye ceremony that I agreed upon for some obscure need for closure. It’s the kind of thing I tend to hate (and used to skip in the past), in part done by people I’m happy to never see again. But this is the end, my friend, and for some reason I feel like going through with it until it’s over. But it’s also the beginning.
The last days have been very emotional as all of my students gave me the real goodbyes, heartfelt and incredibly nice, telling me again and again that I was a great teacher and that they’ll miss me. That is a very assuring thing for me to hear after this long run of insecurity and frustration I had gone through this year and while I enjoy hearing this, I also know that the real test for my abilities will come in my future. But I’m still very happy that I gave them this feeling and that I seem to have done something right. And no matter what will happen at this ceremony, I’m sure those goodbyes from my students are what really matter.
I’m sitting at home now, free from my old school, looking forward to start at the new one just after the weekend. The ceremony was representative for the seven years I spent at this school. A lot of pretense, some truth and some fun. There was a lot of genuine emotional goodbye from some of my closer colleagues, some politeness and some just left after it was done without saying anything. Considering that I barely attended any of these things of the past, I couldn’t be further from a grudge. The whole thing did what I wanted from it, giving me a certain sense of closure, of finishing with this part of my life. I did as much as I could (well, maybe I could have done more) and it was… well, it was what it was. Challenging, frustrating, satisfying. And now it's really over.
When I visited my new school for the third time yesterday, knowing that soon I would be a permanent resident there, I observed some things that resonate with me even more now, after having left this sort of limbo between two schools. For one thing that teachers are often still teachers, which seems to include some natural tendency to complain. Maybe that comes with the territory, as teachers face so many different expectations, from society, students, parents, colleagues, supervisors and also themselves, being in the spotlight most of the time. But I’m used to that and I still have to see how to deal with that there (and I’m not resistant to complain myself).
But I also saw a refreshing openness for new ideas, a willingness to experiment and to discuss. As far as I can tell I agree with most of the ideas they’re trying out there and that gives me an incredible sense of hope. It’s like a kick start for my idealism that many people have told me is misguided, not because of what I want but simply by being idealistic at all. This new school seems very idealistic, which might not be for everyone, but it definitely is what I’m looking for. Someone yesterday said the following: “We will see if this [some kind of initiative or program] will work and if it doesn’t, we’ll leave it and try something else.” I can’t find the words to express my joy of hearing someone in a higher position saying these words. It goes against everything our culture tries to tell us, our insistence on keeping on doing the same thing again and again and again, no matter if it works or not.
So, with these impressions of the last days, I’ll leave for now. I feel very happy right now, relieved, free, optimistic, hopeful. There will be obstacles ahead, I’m sure, but I wanted this change and I wanted it now and if nothing else, the fact that it worked out so easily and quickly is a sign to me that fate might be in my favor. I am reminded of the words I played to one of my favorite classes yesterday, from one of my favorite songs, which I’ll quote to end this last report from this side of the educational system. It is called Die Schönheit der Chance (by Tomte) which is hard to translate but sums up my feelings at this very moment perfectly.
Die Schönheit der Chance
Dass wir unser Leben lieben so spät es auch ist
Das ist nicht die Sonne die untergeht
Sondern die Erde, die sich dreht