Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions we all make several hundred every day.  We decide what to eat, wear, go or do without putting too much thought into how we came to those choices – because that is what a decision actually is – a choice.

We might even call some informed choices, but sometimes I wonder about that.  Sometimes those choices are made spur of the moment or often they are made for you, it is not very often that you have a certain amount of control over the choices you can make, especially when it comes to your career.

I am lucky I will have had the opportunity to think about a life decision and the time enough to gather information to make what I will consider to be an informed decision.

The Choices

Back in October/November of this year I was having a pretty tough time, the start of school and personal issues had been fairly rough and I wasn’t able to focus on my work the way that I expect myself to. I had seriously thought about not putting up with the stressors that are involved with teaching anymore at that time.

However, after talking with many people that I respect and one that I love, I decided to wait until June 1st to make my decision to:

  • remain in teaching
  • find another education position outside of Special Education
  • find another position outside of education
  • go into semi retirement and work part-time when needed to or we want something special

The Why

Some of the things going on were:

  • I had been diagnosed with something fairly seriously wrong with my knee in September, but it wasn’t anything that needed to be taken care of immediately, so we had decided to wait until the next summer to take care of it. It became more of an issue in April and I had it operated on May 17th.  The issue was not what the Doc originally diagnosed (which was great news) and was a large piece of cartilage floating around that when it was out of place – it put me out of sorts.  That has been repaired and a couple of other minor things were fixed while he was in there.  I am well on my way to recovery and plan to be running again by the end of the summer.  So that issue has been resolved.
  • I was extremely frustrated with the number standardized tests that were being required over the course of the year for my students, enough that I went and discussed it privately with the Principal. See my I am not Don Quixote blog entry and my Frustration, Tired and Dr. Pepper post.
  • My wife was going through a serious health related issues and while some of the issues have been resolved, others have not.
  • The amount of time I was spending doing school work at home, instead of spending it with my wife or doing non-school things. Especially the amount of Special Education paperwork, the paperwork just seems to be growing and in order to appropriately measure and document  a special education student’s progress…well it was becoming too much.  SPECIAL EDUCATION DOES HAVE A POSITIVE SIDE  and I Don’t Have Anything More to Give post.
  • How much time I was devoting to education online, education was becoming my lifestyle to the neglect of other parts.
  • There were some other things also, but those were the major concerns that I was having.
  • I am a probationary teacher and I was invited to come back next year as a teacher in my present position as long as the budget allows it and there are no last minute changes.  That is always stressful, not knowing if you will have your position or not – no matter how good you are at your job.

The When

June 1st is next Wednesday, so this is my decision weekend.

I have gone back through and read my blogs from September 2011 onward (they contain a wealth of information about what was going on and what happened – many things that I had forgotten about) and my The Crossroads are In Sight post.  The data has been collected, collated, put in the appropriate columns – ah hell the research part is done – okay.  I am not going into data lock or paralysis by analysis – It is now time to make a decision.

The reality is

I am more than a bit nervous about which way I will finally decide – this is probably one of the toughest decisions that I have ever made.  I am in my dream job, the one that I choose as a result of my finding my Dream Job series back in 2009.  Whatever, my decision I do know that I have looked at it from multiple perspectives, ran budgets and numbers, talked with people I trust and will have the support of my wife.

However, it has to be done and the sooner I finally make this informed choice, the better I will feel and be ready to do what needs to be done to prepare myself for the next step. Whether that step is remaining in my present position, remaining in education but not Special Education, going out of education or becoming semi-retired.

Ah Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. Now to just make this one.

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason.”

Memorial Day – Do You Remember

Flags that were placed on gravesites at Fort L...Image via Wikipedia

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and it has become the unofficial start to the summer season.  It is the weekend where many will go to the beach, have barbecues, get drunk off their asses and not really know why they have the extra day off to sleep in and party.

Yes I know that I am only a teacher and to many out there, what I am going to say might not mean a whole hell of a lot.

But I am also a retired Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer, who proudly served and who has lost friends in service to this Country.

The United States is presently at war and while it does not affect many of you, because it is happening someplace else, these wars are affecting many families in our Country today.  Soldiers, Sailors and Marines continue to sacrifice their lives (they are being killed or maimed) in service to our Country, so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms, that most U.S. citizens take for granted as their right and don’t think about the sacrifices that are needed daily to defend those freedoms.

Being a free Country, does not mean that those freedoms come cheaply, sometimes too many forget the costs and only enjoy the freedoms.

Below is a video of why Memorial Day was created

If the below doesn’t make you stop for a moment and think and possibly shed a tear, I feel sorry for you.

I did shed a tear in front of my classes on Thursday when I showed these to teach them that Memorial was more than a day off from school.

Memorial Day has also become the day to remember and honor loved ones who have died and to go and clean up their grave sites.  Today that is our plan to go to our relatives grave sites to clean them up, plant flowers and honor their memories.

The reality is that
far too many have forgotten what has been sacrificed so that we can enjoy the peace and prosperity that American has today.  People have been killed, are being killed and will be killed to protect this Country from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Taking the time to remember and honor those who have died for our freedoms is the right thing to do.

On Monday take time out of your partying and living your life, to pay tribute to those who have fallen and will fall in service to our Country, so that you can live your life the way that you choose.

If you cannot do that, at least take a moment to remember your own dead and honor their memory.

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason?”