Reflecting on 2008

Since I’ve been on vacation and reflecting offline for the past two weeks, it’s time for me to put down my thoughts for 2008 and my predictions for 2009 (a separate post).

What can I say about 2008? It was a fascinating year for me professionally. I started the year without a job having resigned from Shanghai American School and not knowing what the future held. It was interesting to note the role my personal network played during this time of risk and indecision. Leaving some 20+ comments on that post and forwarding job offers to me as people found them. In the end I found my different job at the International School Bangkok, which led to packing up everything we owned including our two cats and moving to Bangkok, Thailand. 

The difference for me came in a contract with ISB that allowed me what we coined “Google Time” or the idea that I could take up to 20% non-pay leave to see if my hunch for a need of an educational consultant in Asia was correct. I can’t thank ISB enough for giving me the opportunity to see if A) this is what I want to do and B) If the need truly existed.

Of course out of this came other opportunities. EARCOS hired me to help them organize their conferences and redo their website as well as help them find new ways to connect the schools they serve. Wetpaint.com and I did some thinking outside the box and that led to me taking on the role of Educational Ambassador for their wikis in education site.

It’s been a busy year to say the least. I have done a couple of things consultancy wise, not enough to live off of that’s for sure, but I do love doing it. Educators go into education for different reasons. Some like kids, others like the holidays and calendar :) . We all have our reasons for picking our profession, for me it’s always been a love for learning and the light bulb. That moment when you are teaching someone something and you see it click. If could be a 3rd grader, an 11th grader, a parent or a fellow educator…I live for that moment when you can look across a room and see the light bulbs click on. That is what learning and teaching is all about and whether it’s in a conference room, a classroom, or sitting next to someone at a desk, that is the reason I love what I do.

My wife (a.k.a. The Thinking Chick as she’s become known around the office) has been amazing. She quit her job for me in Shanghai, moved here not knowing anyone and has been my savior as I’ve tried to balance what amounts to about 3 full time jobs. She’s an absolute saint and I just hope some day I can return the favor.

2008 has been an amazing year, and to think it all started with this blog, just boggles my mind. I’m not sure where all this is leading me, I change my mind daily on what I want out of my life professionally. All I know is I love riding this wave I’m on. I’m not sure where it’s leading me, or how long I’ll stay on top of it before it decides that my ride is over. Until then I plan on “Living It Like I Love It” and let the chips fall where they may.

2 Comments

  1. Sounds like quite the roller coaster. Good luck with whatever 2009 brings.

  2. Jeff,
    I was just starting to develop my PLN back in the late spring and early summer. You were one of the first people that I started following on Twitter. I only subscribe to a dozen or so blogs and The Thinking Stick is still one of them. Thanks for consistently posting thoughtful and insightful information. Here’s to a great 2009!

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