Friday, July 18, 2008

Change is neccesary for survival

As a biology teacher, I have discussed the concepts of evolution to high school students for year. I have discussed the scientific evidence for evolution, had very careful conversations with classes when they wanted to discuss religious beliefs and not scientific theory, presented the evolution of evolutionary theories over the past few centuries (my personal favorite is a newer "theory": The Flying Spaghetti Monster) and even discussed how equilibrium could occur within a population and how if it did, that population would be doomed, should there be a change to their environment. The one statement that I repeat over and over is that those species who fail to adapt are doomed for extinction. In other words, Change is necessary for survival!

People rarely look at it from the organism's perspective. What if they like what they do and where they are...and if you have ever talked to a teenager, they will be the first to tell you that you cannot tell them what to do or how to be. To quote Office Space, "Why should I change my name? He's the one who sucks!"

Change occurs to you and you can either adapt and flourish or cling to the olden days and be stuck in the past. So, let's take a look at the change that is happening to me:
  1. Biggest Change: First baby is on the way
  2. New Principal for my school
  3. Friends and colleagues leaving for various new positions
  4. Hiring of new teachers for my school

Many, many others that I cannot go into right now...So let's take a look at what we have to adapt to.

#1. The new baby

I have to say, while I am nervous, scared, and whatever other words that are out there to describe the malestrom (GRE word) of emotions that are occurring, my wife and I are EXTREMELY excited about this! We have been incredibly fortunate (knock on wood) with the pregnancy being easy.

Please note: I say we...I mean my wife; she is incredible. She is adapting to many more changes that I think I could handle at one time. Changes in body, emotions, hormones, sleep patterns etc. and yet she still does everything that she did before. Every day she impresses me over and over again.

I have the distinct pleasure of getting the nursery set up. I painted the ceiling 2 weeks ago and a buddy is coming over to help me finish painting the room. We are ging with a yellow and green classic Winnie the Pooh theme. I am excited to contribute in this process any way that can.

No matter how excited we are, we must examine how much change is going to arrive when the baby is born. We read books, friends and family tell about what to expect, but I think that this will be the biggest test of our ability to adapt.

#2 New Principal

I feel good about this one. I was a part of the focus and interview committee. The committee looked at all of the candidates and I feel that we selected the best one. Best of all, our opinion was listened to. The hard part about this is not referring back to the past.

When I made the transistion to my 2nd teaching position, it was pointed out to me that I would CONSTANTLY refer to my former school. I need to avoid making this mistake again. While history and tradition need to be recognized and upheld, I must not expect things to be the same. I must expect that there will be some differences and learn about my new principal.

#3 Friends and colleagues leaving for various new positions

Since we have a new principal, our old one, no wait...former prinicipal (he hates the old jokes), has moved on to a new opportunity. I know that we wish him the best of luck, but he leaves a vacancy (filled by #2) This seems to be a completely different type of change to adjust to. Of course, as the new school year starts, there are other colleagues of mine who have decided to persue opportunities elsewhere and for various reasons. I wish them all the best and hope to continue learning from them and talking to them. Hopefully, they will find things like twitter and plurk to stay in touch.

This leads to...

#4 Hiring of new teachers for my school

While I do not like to have to fill positions of valued colleagues, one of the favorite parts of my job is meeting new teachers and finding people who would make a valued new addition to our team. I had the opportunity to attend some job fairs in Central Illinois, representing my district. Although I had a fever of about 102, I enjoyed meeting a lot of candidates and many of them were hired by my district. I feel like I did a good job.

Overall, there is going to be a lot of change coming up in my life. I tend to be flexible and pretty well adaptable to new situation. I know that somethings will come easy and others will be more arduous (more GRE words).

I look forward to the challenge of adapting, changing, and evolving. The alternative is not so good. ;)

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