When Life Seems Out of Control

As CTE educators, whether your area of responsibility is within a classroom, or at an administrator level, this past year has definitely been a challenge. Along with the changes this year has brought, there have been periods, that I believe we could all admit, which seem as though we have lost control.  Regardless of our personality or leadership style, we all value knowing what to expect, having consistency or normalcy to our lives, and being able to establish a routine.  We all like to feel we are in control of our classrooms, our schools, and our personal lives.   

But 2020 and COVID has definitely shaken up our sense of control in relation to the educational learning environment, as well as our day to day life.  However, as we have discussed within our ACTE Fellows group, educators from across the nation are facing similar circumstances.  We are all having to rethink our instructional techniques, how to meet the learning needs and individual expectations of our students and staff, and how we manage our schools. But pause and remember that we are all in this boat together.  We should not be navigating the storm alone.  Being able to reach out to other ACTE Fellows and gain their perspective, has been reassuring over the past year.   

As a component of the program, we have read and discussed John Maxwell’s Leadership Handbook.  He talked about the defining moments in our lives, both good and bad moments, that have all played a part in crafting us into the leaders we are today. But it is how we respond to those moments that become the deciding factor.  We must choose to take on a growth mindset, accept the challenge, and persevere.  As Maxwell stated, “You will never be the same person after a defining moment.”

Even though we would all like to pretend 2020 or the COVID pandemic never existed, I think we will look back in the years to come and see how this has made us into more effective and creative educators.  By shaking up our sense of normalcy and control, it has caused us to rethink our lives, re-establish what is important, define where we need to spend our time, and decide how to be more effective professionally.

Some of the many advantages of being involved in the ACTE Fellows program is being able to collaborate with other CTE educators and also realizing that Control is a mindset or perspective of how we view our current situation.  The relationships we have developed through the ACTE Fellows has definitely been beneficial in reassuring that we do have control over our personal and professional lives, even though it may look very differently than in the past. 

So, when you have moments that feel like life is out of control, remember there are other CTE educators within your district, state, or across the country that can relate to and understand your experiences.  Don’t feel isolated, overwhelmed, or out of control.  Reach out to your fellow CTE friends and navigate these unprecedented times with others.