Make a Difficult Choice

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 11.32.46 PMGoal 23: Make the Difficult Choice of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“The greatest accomplishment began as a decision once made and often a difficult one.” ~ Michael Rawls

This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.

My Reflection

Two years ago I moved back to the US from Germany. I had many difficult decisions to make. One was where would I live? At the time, I had prospective teaching positions in Turkey and Japan. The other difficult decision was would I continue teaching? At the time, I had reached this exciting new development in my career. Due to my online education projects, I was frequently asked to present and give workshops. I often had to leave my classes with a sub. I missed being in the classroom but I also feel that my projects outside the classroom are important and meaningful.

In the end, I went with my gut and heart. I chose to move back to my hometown. I missed my family and friends. I also decided to pursue the freelance work. These decisions were very scary. I didn’t know what work I would have from month to month. I also didn’t know where life would lead me.

I often speak with teachers who feel they want to leave their schools and teach somewhere else or want to quit teaching in the classroom. One of the best posts I read this year was And I Walk Away, or How I Finally Decided to Quit Teaching by Justin Stortz. He writes about depression, feeling burnt out, and feeling broken.

This was part of the comment I left him:

As far as being broken, I believe when we are at our lowest we discover what we are capable of, our inner strength. People get used to routines, an environment, a circle of friends, and a career. These things define us and are a part of who we are. It’s difficult to have one clear definition and path for so long then it changes. We are supposed to feel lost, broken, and all kinds of emotions. A little over 2 years ago, I was there. I left teaching in a classroom and moved to another country. My life drastically changed. Everything was unfamiliar and foreign. At first, I felt very lost. I decided not to be a classroom teacher for at least a year so I could figure life out. I had no idea what was next so I decided to say yes to any opportunity that came along, paid or unpaid. And I discovered you don’t have to always know the answers, have a plan, or know what will happen in a year, month, or the next day. Sometimes, when we just work on ourselves and putting the pieces back together to feel whole again, opportunities appear. The pieces reveal themselves with each idea we try, with each opportunity we take. It’s good to have a wife who supports your decision and understands it. You have a long journey ahead. Scary, but full of choices that could lead to incredible experiences.

My decision to leave Germany and pursue my passion transformed my life. Did I face uncertainty, obstacles, financial struggles, self-doubt? Yes. However, I also discovered my strength, felt miracles, and became a part of something beyond myself.

For this goal:

Short-term goal– I don’t know what tough decisions you are facing and I don’t know what is the right decision, but know that someone has gone through it. Talk about that decision with someone you trust. Let your close friends or family know what you are struggling with. They might shed some light and offer support.

Long-term goal– Help your students develop decision-making skills.

Challenge:

Talk to someone about a tough decision.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

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*Image above adapted, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lori_greig/5331407245/

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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