|photo source - flickr|
2020 was as they say, "A bad year."
In 2014, I retired from being a teacher as I was with the same school district for thirty-five years. At the time, I couldn't believe that it had actually gone by so fast. My friend Mark Hunter says, "Life is a roll of toilet paper, it starts out slow but at some point that paper roll seems to quickly get smaller and smaller."
As a teacher in a large urban school district, I actually had quite a number of different jobs. My goals as I shifted from special education to general education never included being an administrator. I found that managing other adults was something to avoid and generally gravitated to work that was more project-based. I spend many years mastering the art of lateral movement in a large bureaucracy and discovered how to thrive in the world of grants, or what is often called, "soft money." As a resource teacher, I learned to live close to a money stream where I could personally make change and be a positive difference in students and other teachers lives.
So when I retired from my day job, I was looking to carry that semi-independent streak into being my own boss and start my own educational consulting business with a focus in K-12 learning spaces. I basically worked with vendors who sold furniture and technology to schools where we created new learning spaces from older, traditional learning spaces.
This all went along pretty well for a few years. Then in 2019, business really started slowing down for me, and then the pandemic hit in 2020 to completely finish it off. I folded my tent thinking, "I guess this is it, I'm never going to create a new learning space again."
Sting sings, If You Love Somebody Set Them Free. I don't think I gave up, but that song kept playing in my head, and I resolved to thinking that if I just let the business go, to set it free, that maybe someday it or something else like it, would come back around to me.
After two years, I'm tanned and I'm rested. Bye-bye Covid, I'm ready to go see some rock 'n' roll.
Then I get a call from Dean Smith who is the CEO of his own small business called, D&D Integrated Solutions. Dean and I first met sometime in the 1990's when he was selling security locks for desktop computers. When I started as a consultant, Dean's business had expanded to technology integration and then expanded into being a K-12 furniture dealer as well. As a consultant from 2015-2019, we did a half-dozen fun learning spaces together. But I had plans. I was always looking for something bigger, working with bigger vendors, doing bigger projects. Well you know...
So in March, Dean offers me a job in his business to be a Learning Environment Designer. He actually let me create my own title and as you can probably tell from that comment, I'm delighted to have it, not to mention the freedom to collaborate with his team and school districts, again. Thank you Dean!
This past week, I wrote the first in what I'm hoping will be many blogs for D&D. In an irony of all ironies with respect to my Monday Monday Music™ blog, I got paid to write a blog. How sweet is that!
If you're interested, here is the link to my D&D blog post titled, Learning Environments: Macro to Micro.
I'm thinking, "2022 is a good year, so far... Stop it Doug, 2022 is already a good year!"
Here's a few songs swimming around my head that express my emotion with all this... I may add more as they come to me.
Enjoy my friends!