The thing that made the transition easiest was when I finally internalized the idea that Everyone Is Faking It. No one really knows what is going on. As a child you never suspect that the grown-ups in your life don’t have everything wired. They must, they’re grown-ups. I think the trouble with the puberty part of adolescence is you spend a lot of your time assuming that at some point you’re going to figure everything out. Things are going to become clear. You will hit a certain age and a key will turn in your brain and suddenly life will make sense. I thought maybe when I graduate high school. Maybe when I graduate college. Maybe when I get my first real job. Never happened. Never got the cheat code that illuminated Life and showed me the back doors and the ropes. Never got to peek behind the curtain. Never got the software update.
The only explanation is not that I didn’t get it. It’s that no one gets it. I’m not a solipsist. All you other people exist. You’re walking bags of meat, water, and electricity just like I am. If I didn’t get an instruction manual, if I never got the download of Important Information, then no one did. Everyone is faking it.
Those two thoughts sprung a trap in my Teacher Brain than can never be unsprung. Everyone is faking it and there are no rules. This changed everything. I had that realization at around the same time I was really getting good at the basic mechanics of teaching- Various types of classroom discipline, how different instructional theories played in the classroom, what worked for me and what didn’t. I was ready to start making my own choices right at the moment I was freed by my twin realizations. No one knows what they are doing and there are no rules.