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.”

5 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

  1. Hmm. Sounds agonizing. I know my 'go with the flow' is not always the best – I have a terrible time with decisions, just because they are so final I think. Maybe you could choose from opportunities instead? Choose a path now and if its not right, try a different one? I wish you good things. Not sure why, but through this limited 'relationship' on twitter, I can tell you are a good and kind person. have to be to be in special ed, I guess. My wish for you below. – Vicit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LanCLS_hIo4tr

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  2. My thoughts are with you as you consider your choices. Big forks in the road deserve careful consideration, deliberation with close friends and loved ones, and prayer. I've always found it helpful to make lists of pros and cons for situations like this, and ask myself what I would regret most if I took one course over the other.Best wishes finding the path best for you and your family!

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  3. @Vicit – I consider all of the choices as opportunities, just different ones. The employment opportunities dwindle rapidly for a guy in mid 50's and that is a factor that I have to consider when I make this decision, especially outside of education or outside of a field where I am a known commodity. Thank you for your kind words and the video did make me smile.@Wes – Thank you and yes that has been part of the research process. Thank you for the sage advice especially what would I regret most…that is a perspective that I did not look at and will definitely be an important part of the final decision.Harold

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  4. Your decision, whatever it is, will be well-thought-out and right. I know you are deeply committed to the students you teach, but you must first do what is right for you to be able to do your best for them, even if that means walking away. My thoughts are with you, my friend.

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