At this moment in time I am standing on the edge of a huge cliff. Behind me is a landscape I have come to know, but not always like. It has open spaces, and dark tangled forests. It has areas that pollute and areas that cleanse. It has roads that have criss-crossed, and I have had choices to take different routes, sometimes a left instead of a right. But here I am. At the edge of this god-damn cliff. And its a bit of a relief. Its going to force me to make a decision. Its a huge cliff. Step over it could be suicidal. But retreat back into that known but uncomfortable landscape could be too. It could bundle me back to another cliff in 4 weeks or 6 months time. It could hold me in a crowded place where I might be able to function but not actually breath.
I have been back in teaching since last April on and off, with various bits of long term supply. I've been lucky really to find the work. In the most I enjoyed it. Having friendly supportive colleagues and staff room banter was wonderful after the voiceless period in France. A chance to talk intelligently about the ideas for teaching our young children, and ultimately enabling them to have choices in life and to be able to make informed decisions. Teaching was a path that was kind of chosen for my by my circumstances. A path where there was old familiarity. A career that I could just pick up again (that makes it sound easy - it wasn't) and enjoy a reasonable salary. But what I increasingly found was that teaching was no longer a 200 count thread.. Its 600! And I can't pick up all the thread at once. Problem is that the school to which I have been appointed seems to be the luxury heavy duty 800 thread. A sign of luxury for some. A sign of weight for others. And for me, being a bedlinen obsessive, bloody impossible to iron, fold and conquer without reinforcing joinery in the linen cupboard. Trouble is I haven't had time to go to the timber yard. And sleeping under 800 thread linen should make you feel that you've achieved something in life. Actually it doesn't necessary give you a better nights sleep.
I'm guessing those of you not involved in beds might be wondering wtf I am talking about.
So this cliff. Do I hold my breath, step forward and away from the uncomfortable known, or be brave and say actually I can't sleep under that weight, all that singing all dancing bed linen. I don't believe it will make me perform as a better teacher; I think it will make me so stressed I will crack. I don't believe in all the data and compartments that out youngest generations are being squeezed into. Some say that children with S.E.N are square pegs in round holes in our mainstream school system. I say we, adults and children are all different irregular shapes. We can't all fit into that circular hole. I'm one of them. Definitely multi dimensional too.
Back to the cliff. I see this big empty landscape. Its rather scary. Its open and has no shelter. I has no lanes or routes to tell me which direction to go in. It definitely has no money trees. What it does have it time, space and my health. It holds my children in a place where I can actually have the mental and emotional capacity to care for them. They deserve my every attention. I know once over the cliff, this empty landscape will gradually fill with paths, lanes, dark forests and areas of honesty, like a watercolour gradually appearing in a picture capture movie.
But I still don't know whether to take that forward or backward move. Both have their insecurities and worries. Both have challenges. But which challenge am I prepared to face?