Four Roads Diverge in Wood and I…

To honor April, poetry month, I thought it best to start with a well known Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.  I also feel that the timing of this poem is quite right for some of us, with anticipated new changes next year, or new roles in the future.  As educators, many opportunities present themselves to us. Sometimes those paths are known, traveling a path we have once traveled before with maybe new scenery or a passerby along the way.  Other paths more unknown and less traveled to us, causing us to stop and reflect about which path to take and what we might encounter along the way.

This has been my great dilemma this year.  Two roads diverging in yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel them both.  I recently finished my masters in administration, and what a journey that was.  This path for me was well traveled, as I knew I had those around me to support me, and this was my second masters, so I had some idea of what to expect.  Now at the end of the journey it seems as though the options are endless and I find myself at the edge of the wood staring down the paths looking down as far as I can.  One path leads me to continue my role as an instructional coach, the second path leads me into administration, a third path leads me to stay home with my one year old, and the last path leads me towards working for an educational company.  It is as though the wood has too many paths to travel, and each different with something unique to offer.

The road as a coach, while I’ve enjoyed it, I know I am ready to move on and grow professionally in new ways.  The roads less traveled are the other three paths. Becoming an educational consultant leaves me doubting that I would ever come back to the world I know, a school district, which is scary!  I do feel that road leads me in the direction of my future dreams as a professional development consultant. The road as a stay at home mom is most terrifying to me, as I enjoy my little girl, but I am passionate about the impact I have on the community, and I enjoy the creative thinking education demands.  The last road to administration is the path I feel most prepared and excited to take, but waiting on those doors to open.

After reflecting on who a 21st century educator is, they look forward to the future, and adapt to their new environment developing their own personal skill sets, collaborating with others to support continued growth and a love of life long learning, and providing experiences to nurture the whole child.  I look forward to the future taking one of the roads less traveled, embarking on a new future, making a difference. And who knows maybe I’ll stand in the wood again and have the chance to travel one of the other paths. Somewhere ages and ages hence, and I can’t wait to tell you about my less traveled by.

Nicole Stroup