Life has a funny way of happening sometimes. I started my career in education as a campus secretary over twenty years ago, when I was just a young single parent. I went on to work as a counselor’s aide, ISS aide, and various other support roles while going to school at night to become a teacher. I have loved the last 15 years I’ve spent as a teacher, and really I never had all that much interest in leaving the classroom (it took so long to get there!) But lately I have been feeling a tug that I just couldn’t ignore any longer. So this year, I started applying for Assistant Principal positions. I went on a few interviews but none seemed to be the right fit for me. I was starting to think, maybe it just wasn’t in the cards this year…
Then, the week after school was out, I was invited to come for a campus interview with a district I had been hoping to join ever since I went to the first of three “AP Pool” interviews with them a few months back. There was something about the people, the atmosphere, and the vision of the district that really made me feel invigorated. The following day, I went on the interview, and to say that I felt I had met old friends would be an understatement! I immediately felt a sense of belonging; a feeling that up until then I had not really had. I admired the direction of the campus and the vision of the staff. As a matter of fact, I think I may have stumbled upon a building full of scheming geniuses-creating experiences for kids that are incredibly grand! Oh what a great place and a perfect fit! Luckily for me, the feeling was mutual, and I received an offer which I have gratefully and enthusiastically accepted! So now begins a new journey for me: life as a first-year Assistant Principal.
Over the last few days I have had a lot of time to think and reflect. It’s kind of amazing how some of my thoughts about things I will miss, kind of morphed into another thought moments later. For example:
I think about the classroom full of kids I will no longer teach. But then I think about the classrooms full of kids and teachers that I will have the honor of serving next year.
I think about the life-changing lessons I won’t design. But then I think about the larger learning community I’m joining, and all the life-changing activities we will build together.
I think about the classroom environment that I won’t create (and of course decorate)! But then I think about the school climate that I will have an impact on and the joy that I have the opportunity to spread throughout an entire building. (And yes, I can still decorate — I have already moved a zebra chair into my office).
I think about the classroom “family” and the relationships I build with 22 kids every year. And then I think about the relationships I’m going to be building with 700 students and families, and the staff, in my new school and community.
I think about the passion I have for designing great learning experiences for kids. And then I think about the passion I have for supporting teachers as they go about designing their own great learning experiences.
In my heart, I will forever be a teacher. Though I’m shifting my focus and my role, I am still passionately seizing the opportunity to impact, inspire, and make a difference in the lives of others. I am still in fearless pursuit of inspiring and being inspired. I just have the opportunity to now fulfill that role in a new and different way. Educators have a mighty purpose. And what an honor it is to serve those who are fulfilling such a mighty calling.
So here is to new beginnings, and the start of a new chapter in my life. I shall savor every moment, and I will blog my journey through it all. There are going to be many wonderful stories to tell you: successes and setbacks, decisions and indecision, moments of “I knew that!” and “Who knew that?” and “Does anybody know this?!”. But mostly, hours upon hours of profound learning and teachers planning and kids smiling and parents calling…and me—knee deep in it all. It shall be a year of big moments and little moments, laughter and hesitation, hope and wonder, that will fill up the pages of one of the significant stories of my life. Of this, I am quite sure.
If you have any advice for a new AP, I would love to hear it. Please leave me a comment! Special thanks to all those (real and virtual) mentors of mine who have supported and inspired me in my quest for this new beginning!