As a teacher, I have the luxury of putting my children in a camp for two hours each morning for a few weeks so that I can have some "me" time. I've been alternating days at CrossFit with yoga and immensely enjoying the balance of the two: beating myself up to get stronger versus pushing myself to stretch and grow in my practice. I had an a-ha moment yesterday while practicing yoga; I can apply what I've been doing to my body to my experience as an educator over the last few years.
This past Spring, I finished a two-year program to earn my certification as a principal. In the months since, I've been scouring the newspaper every morning, visiting my bookmarked school sites every Tuesday and Friday, and playing detective looking at various districts' Board notes. I have revised my resume countless times, spent hours making sure my cover letters are absolutely perfect, and became excited every time the phone rang only to get disappointed when I saw that it was only CVS or the American _________Society calling again. (Fill in the blank, they all call.) Everything I've done in the last two years has been to build my resume, increase my professional network, and distinguish myself from every other applicant by being the most well-read of professional literature, or the most willing to be innovative in the classroom. My students have certainly benefited from this, but they have not been my focus. My career has been my focus. I decided that I was willing to drive fifty minutes from home for one or two years so that when something became available closer, then I would be "experienced." I know that the administrator's life is a harried one, especially if you have young children you desperately want to spend time with. Add the extra hours on to a commute, and I would never be home. Why am I trying so hard for this life? I've had enough.
Post-interviews, I've been told that I was the "second choice" at least five times. At first I was excited that I was so close, but years after earning my supervisor certificate, and I am still a teacher, it is only frustrating. Moving forward, though? I'm going to sit back. I'm going to enjoy my life as a teacher again. I'm going to enjoy my summers off, I will enjoy my children while they are still young enough to play with, and I'm going to work my butt off for my students, not for my resume.
Am I giving up my search as an administrator? NO. But, I'm not going to let it take over my life, and I'm going to enjoy what I have now. I'm tired of beating myself up for being "just" a teacher. I'm tired of always waiting and not letting myself experience what is happening RIGHT NOW. Instead, I will stretch myself to try new things, and continue to grow as an educator. When the right position comes along, I'll be ready. In the meantime, my life is beautiful. I'm going to be present and enjoy it.
I intend this blog to be a reflection journal of sorts, on topics such as teaching, leadership, pedagogy, and tacos.