Thursday, July 7, 2011

Moving over to the "Dark Side"

This was my first week in the new role of Associate Principal/Operations.  While I can still "blog from the trenches" by continuing to teach one class,  two friends have congratulated (?) me by noting that I have moved to "the dark side".  Several have wondered if I will miss teaching (Of course I will), but after 36 years in a full time teaching gig, I welcome a very different challenge and for the last few years, new challenges have reinvigorated me.  Here are some of the things to which I am looking forward:

My last English section?
1) Instructional technology.  It could not be a more exciting time to be charting a path in this area.  Mobile devices, cloud computing, etc, have made the need for learning to learn with new, tools all the more important.  Our school has a fantastic infrastructure in place for exciting new possibilities that ought to cost us even less.  I've spent portions of my first two days with IT, and our staff really rocks!

2) Speaking of staff-- An administrative position allows me to collaborate with outstanding folks all over our school building/plant.  I might be in a position to inflict some major damage to the school if we didn't have such committed and talented staff in grounds and maintenance.  I have a huge learning curve here, but I'm getting great help especially from my predecessor).  While I can't say I'm looking forward to a water heater bursting or the like (now in my purview), it is really interesting to be in on some of the construction plans, and have an excuse to work with the talented folk in Advancement who present us to the public.

3) I have previously written about the blurring lines between curricular and extra-curricular. I see the two areas as part of a total educational program and thus they should enhance each other. Excellence should be pursued in both areas and an active student will have to make tough decisions about prioritizing her time.  In particular,  I really relish getting more involved in sports, again.  I'm seriously determined to see each team play this year.

4) I have a number of other interests that I can explore as a liaison to other departments in the building.  I have always loved art, music, and drama.  I came late to my interest in fitness, but now I have caught the bug.  I have some ideas about design and media production.  My new responsibilities will give me a chance to run some new ideas up the flagpole and be closer to these passions.

I used to think I would not have the stomach for administration-  the conflict, the unpopular decisions, etc.  But you know what?  Several years of coaching and one challenging year of doing professional development with a veteran staff has toughened me up quite a bit.  The latter also left me feeling as though I have some unfinished business.  As a result of our hard work this past year, we have some really cool CBL's plans rolling out this next year, and this position will keep me closer to the action.

So, if I haven't convinced you, that this is a good idea, I've sold myself on the project.  And one thing hasn't changed-- I'm still one of those lucky persons who looks forward to going to work .


Ann Lusch said...

The last line might be the most important one of all. Congrats on your new position; I hope it fulfills all of your expectations. And I hope that water heaters stay intact!

Karen Bosch said...

Congratulations on your new position! Sounds like you will be kept busy during the upcoming year.

Rick said...

"Beware of the dark side... Anger... fear... aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight."

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