Honouring Change

    Below is a picture of my Dad:

    That picture was taken in 1958 at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where many immigrants came  to Canada to make a better life.  My Dad left his parents and siblings, came to this country with less than 20 dollars in his pocket, couldn’t speak a word of english, nor read and write. He worked his way up from being a dishwasher to owning his own restaurant for decades and gave his kids everything.  I get nervous about travelling to another country that I can’t speak the language, let alone leaving my family to live there.  I can’t imagine how he did it or how hard it was, but I am sure grateful that he did.
    His story is not unique though as probably many of you reading this have a similar story in your family of someone that took a huge risk to ultimately give you the opportunity to do what you do today.  My Dad did not just embrace change, he took advantage of the opportunity “change” gave him to make something better (his life and the life of his family).
    Seems pretty insignificant when we complain about something like moving from Microsoft Word to Google Apps, doesn’t it?
    Several years ago, I was in a district that I felt I had no opportunity to grow in and gave up a tenured position for a temporary one in hopes of rekindling my passion for education.  It was gone and “change” was the only opportunity to get it back.  Although I was quite lucky to land in a very progressive school district, I remember thinking that I was going to take advantage of this new opportunity and really focus on recreating myself.  From a temporary teaching position, I became assistant principal one year later, a principal three years later, and division principal five years later.  My Dad taught me that whenever something is “new”, it also means that it is a “new opportunity”.
    Change is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, change can be the best thing to happen a person, depending on how we look at it.
    So many people that paved the way for us to have the lives we do today understood this.  We need to take advantage of the opportunities that stand in front of us to make what we do so much better.


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