For so long, I pushed back and resisted it. For so long, I dismissed the idea outright. Going back – I wouldn’t even countenance consideration of it.
Wasn’t going back an admittance of failure?
Wasn’t going back stepping back?
I’d been there already – done what I wanted to do in teaching – hadn’t I?
Then eventually I just said, stuff it and let go.
I reached out, and a door opened.
Little did I know though how pivotal this moment would be.
Little did I know that this moment would be key to recalibrating my ideas about myself and my future.
And so after 6 years away, I packed my bag and jumped on the train back to the classroom.
All that train journey, my mind frantically raced, a cacophony of panic, wonderings, and worst-case scenarios.
What if I’ve lost it?
What if I don’t cut it any-more?
What if I don’t know how to teach any-more?
What if I can’t connect any-more?
And as my colleague opened up the classroom door – I could feel that breath within me – held ever so tightly.
Get everything ready Greg (that’ll keep your mind occupied and calm you.)
I was in ultra hyper-organization mode, getting everything ready for every ‘what if’ moment I could imagine – when someone knocked on that door.
You new teacher?
Then another, and another……
Something clicked in that moment. I was home.
Sitting in a circle – getting to know each other
The smiles, the laughter, the open-ness –
There was something so familiar and affirming in this moment.
Familiarity – it’s something that I’d generally reject as status quo – as been there done that.
But this was different. It wasn’t that same-old, same-old familiarity I’d run from.
There was something else going on here.
It dawned on me much later…
Yes I was going back BUT I wasn’t going back as 100% same-old Greg that left the classroom 6 years earlier.
Sure there were elements of old me, those skills and strategies, honed over many years of teaching.
BUT I was much changed.
I could not help but be changed by my desire to keep extending and challenging my comfort zone. Pushing The Edges – wherever I was working.
And that enabled me to see possibilities I hadn’t imagined before – in the classroom – with a whole new set of skills at my disposal.
Yes I was going back and coming home but this was qualitatively different.
And it felt SO SO good.