Sunday, June 22, 2014

Come Back Song

Well hey there teacher bloggers!

I have taken some solid time off from contributing new posts to this blog.  Solid, like, a year long.  My reason for "stopping" my posts was that I was leaving the classroom, and felt that I would be out of touch with things that were going on, and that teachers would not want to hear from me.  As it turns out, that couldn't be farther from the truth.  I have decided...it's time for a come back!  Cue Darius Rucker come back song:

To refresh your memory...
Last year I made a decision to leave the classroom when I applied for the NC Principal Fellows Program.  This decision was extremely hard for me, because I love teaching.  Now, after a year of being in my program, I can honestly say that that decision did not become easier with time.  There are certain things that I just genuinely miss about teaching and being in my own classroom.  Consider this a don't forget to "be thankful" post.

Be thankful for your opportunity to carry out a REALLY important life's work.  Be thankful for the open, honest conversations that you can have with children.  Be thankful for the feeling of accomplishment that you have at the end of each day. Be thankful for your colleagues. Be thankful for those moments when your students tell you how special you are to them.  And most importantly, be thankful for the time you have, and the kids that you are privileged to teach.

*Sniff, sniff, tear.*

Now I know that being out of the classroom can definitely tint my rose colored glasses, but these are some things that I truly came to miss.  The hardest times have been holidays and "special" times of year.  I cried during the first week of school.  Not being there, and feeling like I had lost my purpose was challenging for me.  I do not regret my decision to start this program, but it is hard to make such a drastic life change.

Time for the silver gold lining.

The Principal Fellows Program started for me in late August.  Throughout the program, I attended classes twice a week, and worked as a graduate assistant.  There were 7 other students in the program with me, and we dove in headfirst to learning what it means to be a school leader, from an administrative standpoint.  I have LOVED this program.  My professors are all super duper supportive, and my classmates are a joy to work with.  Here's a picture of my PF class:

If you live in NC, and are considering going to route of school administration, I HIGHLY recommend that you look into the program.  As a HUGE part of our course requirements, we complete what is called a Service Leadership Project.  Basically, we go to a school of our choice, and collaborate with the Principal to decide on a project that will help us hone our leadership skills, and offer some kind of service to the school.  Long story short, my Service Leadership Project was starting an intensive Beginning Teacher Support Program from the 20 beginning teachers at the school I selected.  After getting things going with this program I realized that if I thought I was going to be out of touch with teachers and classrooms, I was dead wrong.  I spent over 150 hours working on this project:  training teachers, observing teachers, and coaching teachers.

Another exciting element of this program is the opportunity to observe administration at work.  I visited about 15 schools, and was able to practice observations, walk-throughs, and participate in meetings with teachers.

After giving it some thought, I have decided to come back to this blog.  While I personally am not teaching in a classroom, I definitely see ALOT of creative, fresh ideas in the classroom, and want to share these ideas with all of you.  Hopefully you will welcome me back with open arms;-)

Have any of you ever made career changes that were challenging?  I'd love to hear about your changes-tell me about it in the comments box!

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