For the last few years I’ve been working hard on my professional goals and trying to advance my career in public education. I’ve done everything “by the book.” I’ve done the course work. I’ve passed the tests. I’ve done absolutely everything that I can do, even so far as having my research published in an educational administrative journal. And I’ve hit the wall over and over again.
Each time I’ve hit the wall, I’ve reevaluated. I’ve asked myself hard questions and I’ve learned important lessons.
But this weekend, after soul-searching after yet another difficult wall, I realized that I’m going after my goals in a traditional approach.. the accepted approach… the textbook approach.
And you know what?
The textbook approach has NEVER worked for me.
My dad has often laughingly said that I created my own degree plans in college and created my own jobs. And you know what? I have. Why? Because I had to in order to survive.
But during the last few years, with a good job and some, what I thought were attainable goals, I forgot that I don’t fit the box that others want. I gave absolutely everything I had to doing what was expected, traditional and allowed.
And I found that not only does that not work for me, I didn’t get the promotions that I worked so hard for. And I really want to give up.
But I’m not.
I didn’t learn to finally read fluently in fourth grade for nothing!
Traditional approaches to education didn’t work for me as a child. My path to reading and basic math was HARD and I have the elementary report cards to prove it. The four C’s I got in second grade on the second marking period were disappointing. Staying in at recess in third grade so that I could figure out math problems wasn’t fun. Having to read into a tape recorder at night and play it back and listen to myself read the words wasn’t easy. But I did it. And I learned to read and I passed my math classes.
Everyday I could have given up. But I didn’t. My brand of gifted (remembering pretty much every room I’ve ever been in, including the orientation of the bed compared the window for every room I’ve slept in for the last 40 years..) doesn’t make the standard list of gifted and talent attributes.
What I learned is that I have to fight for myself and be willing to take the path full of rocks. The path full of rocks is often lonely, its tough and you are destined to get scrapped up along the way. But it is worth it, because the view from the peak is incredible.
So that’s what I am going to do.
I’m setting out on my own path. It’s not a path of manicured grass with a pretty pond. It’s a path of rocks and I’m going to conquer it.
Watch out world.