I haven't posted anything here in over a year. I have written several articles during that time, but I chose not to publish them. Sometimes, they went unfinished. Sometimes, I couldn't find the right words. Sometimes, I didn't publish them because I felt like the words I wrote were too negative. I felt like I was constantly finding things that were not going well. After fifteen long months of observation and introspection, I am ready to publish again.
After 23 years in the education biz, I changed districts for the fourth time. I felt like I understood that things could be different and I would be able to handle any/all the differences between my new district and my previous employers. How different could it be between neighboring districts of similar size and demographics? I was wrong. I wondered if my lack of understanding the rationale for the differences was perhaps a negative vibe that had found its way into my soul as an educator. (It hasn't. I simply stand firm in my belief that we should strive for better!)
For years, I felt like I ran through each day with optimism and hope for improvement. I tackled problems positively and laughed through the successes and mistakes. I tried to model forward-thinking and I tried to squash TWWADDI (That's the way we've always done it) mentality.
I looked back through several years of posts. The overarching theme has been my deep seated belief that we can always improve what we do in education. Sometimes I highlighted great things that I witnessed. Sometimes I made observations about current realities. My posts in 2017 and 2018 seemed to have a deeper feeling of frustration. While writing can be a therapeutic means of reflection, I made a choice to stop publishing my pieces. I didn't want to write my opinions without sufficient evidence.
It has been two years. I am ready to publish again. I am ready to note wonderful things that are happening in my world. I am also ready to examine things that need to be better. In this profession, like no other that I know, we struggle with systemic change and we don't learn from our neighbors.
It has also been two years since my return to the classroom. I did some things really well as a principal. I also had some glaring weaknesses. Don't we all! At this point, I can see what I would do better as a campus leader more clearly than ever before.
I am really looking forward to this writing endeavor!