How much is your future connected to what you choose to do ‘for a living’?
Many of us are lucky enough to be learning/working in the field of education as it offers such great personal and professional opportunities – and, most importantly, one is able to maintain a sense of purpose by contributing to a larger community.
It is great being around young people. There is such a powerful ‘life-force’ that emanates from groups who have the world to explore and potential to be somewhere, in a future, as yet unknown. I occasionally wonder about the challenges of working in an environment where people are ill, old or somehow at the other end of their life-cycle. It must be challenging to stay positive. Teaching is not like this at all. Education, or, if you would prefer, ‘learning’, is a great future to dream.
My question, where do you see your future leading and what are the personal and professional crossroads that will have you standing, pondering long and hard, crystal ball cloudy? I know this is a very personal, as well as professional question to ask people to write about publicly. Feel free to dream or explore half-formed ideas.
For me personally, the issue is irrevocably bound up in what is best for my family. I have moved around the state many times and always saw this as positive but recognise, that I have no strong connections to a geographical place (at best, maybe I do to NSW rather than a town, city or locale). Asking our kids to leave their school, as their parents set sail for new adventures, jobs or even lives, is a big call – or is it? It has always concerned me that people living, tightly connected to one space, may be insular and limited. Of course, this is not necessarily the case.
As many of you know, my family will live in Viborg, Denmark while I work as an ‘inspektor’ at the local school for three months. This trip will be important for us, as a family, to work out how we fare in another country together, away from what is familiar. The experience will help us decide what next, or rather, where next.
Geography still plays a part in our worlds, as hyperconnected as our society, learning and the profession has become. This is (another?) indulgent paragraph, however, increasingly, the idea of being like this guy, appeals to my wandering heart; not so much a ‘tech nomad’ but an edutech member of ’a tribe’ that is both virtual, and real, and that often these are interchangeable as one travels from a space and relationships continue online. Some of you are already doing this, I note, as you travel the world to many conferences and professional learning spaces.
Working in a school, as they are currently envisaged, makes this a little difficult for most of us – but increasingly, opportunities are arising. It is exciting, that every community can now stay connected to those travelling, learning and sharing in our hyperconnected times. Maybe each school needs ‘travelling fellowships’, for parents, students and staff to do new kinds of learning to complement the traditional notions of ‘exchange’ that currently operate. Can anyone explore this idea further?
In short, to conclude: I hope my family can stay connected to senses of geographical place while having new experiences in new places around the globe. Professionally, opportunities to grow, change and develop outside of ‘the school’, whilst contributing to the evolution of that space, most excite me. The largest picture, how do I help in a future where our community attitudes towards learning improve; what reforms can we make to our systems?
This is what truly interests.
Enough from me - have you some time to spend on the crystal ball?
Photo credit: Just.Luc