Exciting news! I have taken the first (and probably biggest) step toward making my dreams for this year come true. I told Silvia (my director) and Sharon (Silvia’s daughter and the executive director of the training center) about my plans to look for a teaching job abroad for the coming school year. To put it bluntly (and dramatically), I quit my job! I will be finishing out this school year and then leaving at the end of May after our current students graduate.
I knew that telling Silvia and Sharon I will be leaving this job in a few months would be difficult. And it really was, but I also underestimated how understanding they would be. I know that they care about me like family and they only want me to be happy, but I was so touched at how supportive they both were about my plans. Their initial disappointment was evident, but they were also excited and proud of me that I was following my heart and looking for a position where I can be back in the classroom doing what I love.
It only took Silvia, the director of the training center, about two minutes to digest the information and then she was off and running with it! Right away she started telling me about all the schools she knows of around the world, making suggestions and writing lists of people she would contact on my behalf.
Today I was copied on two emails that she sent to heads of schools in Spain. Here is what she wrote: “I would like to introduce Chelsea Swenson, an AMI Primary (3-6) Montessori teacher who is looking for a job abroad, perhaps in Spain! Chelsea has been one of my best students, worked in an AMI Primary classroom and has worked with me the past three years as the administrator of MISD. Her true love is working with children and although she is doing a fantastic job as the administrator of the training center, she deeply wants to be working with children. I want to help find the right place for her and I thought that you might either have a place for her in your school or suggest to us where she else could apply.”
Oh my goodness. It’s happening!
Amazing things are going to happen this year, I can feel it. My heart and mind are finally fully open to new possibilities, new ways of thinking, new challenges, new passions and new adventures. This will be a year of change and growth, which I hope to faithfully share with all those who are interested in my journey.
For the past six years, I have been living in Encinitas, a beautiful, coastal city in Northern San Diego County. My little neighborhood is an area called Leucadia and it is one of my favorite places on the planet. The beach is three blocks from my house and the sunsets here can move me to tears. The people are warm, open-minded, healthy, friendly and unique. There is a yoga studio on practically every block, the weather is perfect and I can have a garden year round. What’s not to love?
Everything is ideal and I have been perfectly content with this life for a long time, but the challenges of the past year culminated in the realization that it’s time for a change. Through much intense introspection at the end of last year, I came to understand that I have spent the last few years unconsciously waiting for my next chapter to start, living with a disconcerting uncertainty about what I’m doing with my life instead of making the decision to try something new. I’ve been feeling slightly trapped in this place; tied to Leucadia because I happen to own (and absolutely adore) my beautiful, little house. Waiting to move because I keep hoping I will meet someone who will want to run off into the sunset with me. Not wanting to leave the incredible friends I have here, but also feeling ready to meet new people with new ideas and new stories. Stay or go? Move or not? Well, I’ve finally made the decision and I’m ready for a new adventure!
I am planning to put my house on the market at the end of February and leave my current job at the end of May. My passion is education and my training as a Montessori teacher provided me with an internationally recognized teaching diploma, my passport to see the world! There are Montessori schools in countries around the globe and the time has come for me to explore new options and choose my next destination. This is my next chapter and one that I look forward to sharing. I do not know yet where I will end up, but I do know that I am tremendously excited about the possibilities…