Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Bus, the Big Apple and it's time for "Dreams"

The past three weeks have been very eventful and a time for reflection and good sense. Prudence is key and decisions like the ones I need to make can only been done in the silence of one’s own mind.

Since I retired early from what I now call my "Early" stage career I am now faced with staying in my current "Mid" career job or moving to the next chapter. I still consider this my mid stage because my next move will not be retiring it will be a shift in a new upward direction.

At one point in time I felt old because I was always looking backward. I now look ahead to each day because looking forward keeps me young in heart, spirit and physical sense of ability.

Sometimes one can learn more with their eyes closed for about two hours on a bus ride in the middle of the night when all is silent as opposed to during the day with over fifty geeked kids on their way back from the Big Apple spending a week in the most vibrant city in the world.

What a great week it was, never have I seen so much in a week with so many people (majority middle school age). Accompanied by school officials and parents it was a very excitable and learning experience for all. For me the best part was meeting some new friends. You get to know them fast when you spend two 11+ hour days on a bus together plus 16 hours a day during our trip.

Our trip brought excitement, reflection and sadness with every turn of the bus while we were in the city walking from one highlighted place to the next. While I had been there before in my business career I never was able to spend the time walking the streets during the day and night and seeing so many people all at the same time that make up the naked city.
The city did not disappoint, we saw every facet of life (good and bad). However it does seem that I encounter some of the strangest folks (Wacko Willie the pervert, bums, lost boy on Liberty Island, pick pocketed student, crazy bus (I don't like driving at night, I can fit through the toll)and cab drivers, bus driver with two autistic children and some I just can’t put a name on).

My most memorable moments are from the Special Education students who behaved admirably. All parents worry before field trips but none as much as the parents of a special child who often need daily medication. Out of over 150 students I did not once notice or hear of one them having or causing a problem. I can’t say the same for some of the General Education students who took every opportunity to cause a problem or suddenly have "selective Hearing" when instructions were sent hour on where to be and with whom and at what time. All in all it was a very well run and managed trip.

Lesson Recalled - continue to encourage young people they hear so much negative.

Lesson Recalled – tell young people the truth, they know when you are lying or what I call being plastic (not sincere).

The trip provided me with the time, information and experience that I needed to make a decision in the upcoming weeks as to stay in my current position or move to a new venue in the educational arena. I choose to move to my next leg of the journey.

Prior to my trip I had a very insightful meeting that stroked all my early career stage passions as well as those in my mid career stage. It’s about "Dreams" and what can one do starting from a canvas and rock and paint a masterpiece upon a foundation built from the ground up.

For me, everything starts with a “Dream” but the dream requires plans, hard work and execution for it to become reality.

The new position in a different school system will provide me the opportunity to guide students, staff and administrators on the positive things they should do as opposed to the negative, which is what I believe, must happen for positive change to occur.

Daily I continue to think about what my next opportunity will bring and the new friends I hope to make. I am convinced that each stage and change I make will lead me to the next door of opportunity as long as I am vigilant.

The best part of all is that it is time to bridge the new things I have learned over the past 4 years with those things I have learned from my 30-year business and teaching career that I already know. I believe now I can even be more effective in my on-going quest for "Profound Knowledge" and serve others who look to me for guidance and structure to obtain one’s dreams and my own for a passion for educational excellence.

It’s now time once again to challenge conventional wisdom and the balance of things to come. Through servant leadership all dreams can become true and the kicker is one can also be happy doing it at the same time.

As with any job change it is always hard to say goodbye, especially to the students and the friends I have met and worked with over the years.

Sadly, I heard this week that someone said I was leaving because I did not like some of the people I work with on a daily basis. Nothing could be further from the truth. I would have not left for any other reason than the new door that has opened and I must go through to continue my journey.

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