I find myself at a crossroads, these days. I am enjoying both of my jobs immensely. I work with incredible educators who challenge me and my practice in the best of ways. I am also enjoying the creative work that I am doing, both the creative and the copywriting. One feeds the other which feeds the other. Lately, however, I don’t feel like I have time for all of it, so I have to start contemplating the next step.
This isn’t about deciding between the occupations. I believe that I can balance both. More than that, having that alternative focus in my day makes me a better writer. And having a chance to do something that is my own makes me a better educator. I am calmer, more productive, and more willing to innovate in either world.
That’s what makes the next steps so challenging. I have a good balance right now, but I feel like I could be doing more. I would love to have more writing work and I really want to push my pedagogy in the classroom. The goals are separate, but complimentary.
The reality is that we often work ourselves into a niche. We aren’t just teachers; we are subject or grade specific teachers. We aren’t just writers; we are genre specific writers. Most days, not issues with that at all. We just have to be careful as, unchecked, our professional niches can become prisons. Worse than that, if we stay in them long enough, they become home.
There is nothing more professionally damaging than getting too comfortable. We need to push ourselves, creatively and professionally, to do better work and to take on new challenges, to grow. And while taking the next step can be scary, it’s a lot better than standing still.