Walk Through the Door: Transitions


We all face them.

There is not a spot where you can be totally safe,

know what your future holds, or be able to predict where your path might lead.

This kind of indecision fueled a transition in me. I retired from classroom teaching, and started a nonprofit to assist in transitions that student intern teachers were finding difficult.

In 2015, I wrote 2 journals that were copy written by the US Library of Congress. The first is the Life Skills Toolkit, and the second is practical life skills for living on your own for the first time.

These books could be a lifeline for you or someone you know.

It seems, from reading evaluations from our most recent workshop, this daunting “transition” thing is scaring the hell out of college students nearing the end or their student careers.

They want to know more about their future, what and how to navigate their lives, not just how to have good teaching strategies.

While we don’t have a crystal ball, we do have the ideas.

We have already begun to search for resources to help us assist early career educators, especially those still in school, for our November 16 Be That Teacher with Palanca Leadership at WMU.


They used to be so difficult for me. I would have to mentally prepare to step out of my comfort zone. I would tell myself this was an adventure and what is the worst thing that could happen?

In high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

I rarely considered it until it hit me right in the face.

To write down what are you going to do?

I declared a PE Major but realized while I thought I was athletic, I really didn’t compare with the real PE majors. I graduated with that degree, almost went into nursing, almost moved to another state, almost went into sales, almost….But I was hired to teach K-5 PE and that is how my story began to be written.

It is enviable to see students who have known all their lives what they will do when they grow up.

My niece always knew she wanted to be a doctor, my nephew always knew he wanted to go internationally into business, my own daughters have delighted me with their willingness to test the waters in many different professions as careers become more authentic for them. I follow the success of all of my students over a 34 year teaching career. Reveling in their choices and cheering them on from the sidelines.

I fear the majority of students are not willing to face the music. It takes guts to walk through the door.

Mainly because there is so much out there.

Trades are coming back. Colleges are offering many different majors. Junior Colleges make it affordable to take classes while giving some time to figure things out.

Here’s the bottom line:

Pick a small goal. Give yourself a specific time frame. Add goals as you complete each layer.

Sort of like a goal sandwich.

As things begin to feel familiar and worthy of pursuit, let go of the ones that tend to drag you down like:

What other people are doing and sharing, bragging people who have to convince themselves that they have arrived at the top, jealousy over others that get the nod when you have worked hard and do not, pushy people who want marriage now, proof of income, or commitments you are not ready to make.

To transition does not mean to give up control. It allows you to lift up the anchor rope a little and see where the sail might take you.

Thanks for listening.

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