When I started the journey to become an ACTE Fellow, I knew little about what it would entail. I was excited to begin but then this feeling came over me and I was scared. I honestly didn’t know if I was professionally ready to take on such a huge challenge that could possibly affect CTE programs all over the country. I mean, I was ready for this next step but when it came down to it and I received the “congrats” letter, I thought what have I just done! Let me start by saying that I have my “people”…you know, the ones who are always in your corner cheering you on. These are the ones that convinced me that I was ready for this and they continue to push me to be better. I am truly hoping that my new mentor, Robert, becomes one of those people.
I spoke with Robert for the first time and let him know of my concerns and how nervous I was. “I was nervous, too”, he said, “but it is amazing how they train you and what is more amazing is the life-long relationships you make with your fellow Fellows”. He laughed a little at that, as did I. We spoke about how he began his career and what led him into the decision to become a Fellow. I told him my background that I had spent 8 years at the FACS state office, and then my boss pushed me out of there because a teaching opportunity opened up. He spoke and I listened intently.
As for the New Fellows group I am now part of…I see so much value in the things that they are doing. Do they think the same thing about me? I truly hope so. We have all briefly spoken on our conference calls. It is hard to open up completely to people you don’t know. I am hopeful that NPS will be a bonding experience for us. After speaking with Robert about the position and upcoming NPS, I felt more at ease about everything I will be doing in 2019. Honestly, it felt as if I were talking to an old friend. ACTE couldn’t have set me up with a better mentor and I am very grateful (and not as nervous anymore) to continue with my journey.