As a former history teacher and author of history curricula, I’m often reminded of a theme that permeates all study of history: change and continuity.
No nation, business, or individual can be static and still thrive. Each must change in significant ways–grow and improve–or die. Yet, some things must and do remain the same: fundamental foundations and principles. For example, over the years, technology has changed dramatically, and people no longer use manual typewriters. They first shifted to electric typewriters, then to word processors, and finally to computers. Even now, they continue with what seems to be ever-increasing frequency to change software programs. Yet, everyone continues to type on the same QWERTY keyboard.
The theme of change and continuity has been evident as well in the steps of my own career path. I have always been involved in some way with education. For nineteen years, I was a classroom teacher of history, writing, and–in pinches–other subjects.
But then my career path led me into writing articles about education or the various subjects I had taught. My published writing opened the door to technical editing for seven years, at the historic Oak Ridge, Tennessee, nuclear weapons plant where the supersecret Manhattan Project built the first atomic bomb. During those years, I also taught writing classes in a thriving homeschool cooperative while continuing to write about education and history. The end of the Cold War closed one leg of my career and ushered in the next–independent editing and writing, much of it for educational organizations and about historical subjects. All of those life experiences combined to open the door to what I have been doing for the past eleven years–writing history curricula for a major textbook publisher.
My journey along the career path of life has been exciting and full. Full of change and continuity. Although I’m now nearing the end of my career, it isn’t over yet; change and continuity proceed apace. Today, August 28, 2015, I shift gears yet again, this time back to editing and writing as a “free lance,” an independent. Yet, some things will remain the same: I’ll still be editing materials that educate and edify readers and writing about historical topics that educate, entertain, and–I hope–delight. These are things that I can do while testing the waters of retirement one toe, one foot, and one leg at a time. And I’m sure that along the way I’ll continue to see the theme of change and continuity at work.