At the point at which I left my job to start a new career, I was ready for a change but I was also at the top of my game. People inside and outside of the college routinely called me for consultation. I could prepare reports and written materials quickly and effectively. I was always on top of issues and out ahead of problems. I could talk extemporaneously about the nature of our work to visiting professionals. A couple of years ago, I was asked with five minutes’ notice to join a panel discussion in front of over a hundred people at a conference; sure, no problem.
Last weekend, I opened my textbooks for my new career and started reading. There are all these strange new theories that I am trying to wrap my head around. Some sections of text have to be read two or three times to figure out the nuances. There is new terminology and acronyms that I am trying to learn and remember. By the way, ESL seems to have rather dull acronyms; so far, they don’t spell out any cool words.
I’ve gone from expert to novice, but that is the price of admission in starting over with a new career. It’s also the excitement of starting over. Even though I’ve had some experience as a volunteer teacher, I don’t know the theory behind why the teachers do what they do. It’s fun trying to figure out how everything fits together and start to consider what theory best fits how I perceive people’s learning. Becoming a novice again may be the price of admission, but I’m hopeful that it will be a good show.
This image was made a couple of years ago in Albany, New York