This fall would have marked my 14th year as a public school educator, within the same school division where I attended grades K-12. My formal job titles ranged from Social Studies Teacher, Virtual Instructor, Curriculum Writer, E-Learning Coordinator, Technology Integration Specialist, and Robotics Coach.
Beyond the titles, I had the pleasure of working with some of the most kind and compassionate educators. And most importantly, I taught over 1800 students. Or rather, we learned together.
A mere five weeks ago, I took a leap out of my comfort zone into the role of Onboarding Consultant at Amplified IT, a K-12 focused Google Consultancy. Our labs division, Amplified Labs, concocts amazing Google-centric tools that are literally transforming the face of the educational landscape. Daily, my colleagues and I work to answer the questions that are plaguing school divisions in the face of rapid technology growth.
So, what have I learned from leaping out of my comfort zone?
- I am who I thought I was- sassy, driven, and a dream out-louder. And quite honestly, that’s a relief. Part of me assumed that my sassiness was derived from being comfortable in the same place for 25 years.
- The last 13 years of professional experience opened the opportunity up for me to work at Amplified IT but starting anew requires proving my worth and I’m okay with that.
- I do have good ideas. I am confident enough to express them. And yes, I still dream out loud.
- Being in a new environment has motivated me to ask the questions that matter and align my core values about education with actionable steps to transform how schools work.
- Change is hard but being stagnant in my personal and professional growth is worse.
- The saying is true, you should never be the smartest person in the room. My former colleagues knew me, trusted me, and looked to me to solve their technology problems. Now, I realize how little I know and how much I still have to learn. It’s humbling.
- The people who remained in my zone of comfort that always challenged me- are still my people. I may have left the place I worked for numerous years but I still have a core group of teacher friends that will always be that- my friends. I am going to rely on them to keep me in tune with whats going on the front lines of education.
- I am a feminist. There. I said it. In print. That’s a feminist with a lower case “f.” I feel a strong desire to make sure women are equally represented in the technology sphere.
- Genuine, honest (maybe brutally honest) feedback is an epic way to truly learn. I still am who I thought I was- tough (see #1).
- Everyone should leap when complacency sets in. I did and my brain hurts. But it hurts so good.
Huge shout out to my new colleagues at Amplified IT. You guys inspire me daily!