At different times over the past three years, I have written posts, or started to write posts, and for some reason I haven’t been able to work some of them out. For one reason or another, the idea wasn’t finished or at least not at the level where I felt it was good enough to publish. I have recently had the desire to go back and finish some of those posts, so this week, I am going to finish 5 posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for a while, in some cases, over two years. I picked five that I wanted to finish, maybe not the best, but ones that I needed to work out and take the time to finish because they meant something to me. Today’s post was originally written on March 10th, 2011, during my first year as an assistant principal at a different school. I had been struggling through my first experience with administration, bogged down by the minutia of the position and having trouble seeing the brighter side of the work. All week, whatever I had written will be in italics and then I will add to the post to finish it. Kathy Melton is joining me in this week long return to posts we never finished, her blog can be found here.
See The Light (March 10, 2011)
I have been waiting for a break in the clouds for some time. This first year of administration has been a big change, and has left me wondering at times if it is the right path for my career. Some of the work I have found challenging simply because it is time consuming and not all that interesting, mostly work that exists in my office and away from teachers, students and classrooms.
The break came this week in an odd way. Nothing earth shattering happened, there was no project or event that we put on, or monumental interaction with a teacher or student. What happened this week was that I was able to take the time to appreciate the good things that were happening in my day-to-day work. My vision has definitely been clouded, hindered by focusing so much of my time and energy on worrying about the little details and the busy work that I never seemed to catch up on. This week, for some reason, I wasn’t so hung up on the wrong things and suddenly I was able to see the side of the job I needed to see.
I spent some time working with a teacher, fairly new to the profession, and we discussed his practice and how to improve in an area he felt he was struggling. I had a few great interactions with students in my office that went well and I was able to help them with certain difficulties they were having with their behaviour. I also spent some time talking with a parent who had some concerns, and I felt like we both left the conversation feeling solid about our plans and how everything should roll in the future.
Nothing earth shattering, really just regular admin interactions on any given day. The real difference comes from the fact I was enjoying myself this week, and I felt confident in what I was doing.
That was where the post ended – feels like I had gotten to my point, I don’t really know why I stopped. Maybe because I didn’t feel I had much to say beyond that, or maybe because I felt it was simply a personal issue I was working out, I can’t really say. I know looking back that the year ended very well for me and I felt pretty good about the job I did. I ended up leaving administration and went back to the classroom, the reason being I was offered, and accepted, the head coaching position of the Men’s basketball team at a small local university. I am still coaching that team, but I have found a way, or I should say, my principal, my division and I have found a way for me to return to an administrative position while still coaching.
What I know I took away from that first year as an assistant principal was a good 6-7 months of struggling to find my way and 3-4 months of realizing I could do it. It was right around the time I wrote this post, or draft of a post, that I started to find confidence and enjoyment in the day-to-day work of an administrator. Heading back into this position next year I know I will take a great deal of experience I gained from that year and use it to do the best job I can.
I am sure most people in new jobs have a moment or a period of time where they start to find their groove and make the position work for them as much as they work for the position. For me, seeing the light in March 2011 put me on a path that meant I knew, one day, I would come back to administration and that day will be this August, and I look forward to a new challenge and even more learning.