You may not know this, but I left the public schools for a few years. While working in my first principal position, I was also teaching as an adjunct for a small local college. The president of the college was a former school principal and a mentor of mine. When he retired, the position of the Chief Academic Officer opened. It sounded like a great opportunity and I wrestled with the decision of whether or not to leave a job that I loved. Finally, I came to the decision that I would "branch out" and try this new opportunity and applied for the position of CAO. I got the position.
Within a few months, I realized that I had left a world I loved and entered into an atmosphere focused more on attracting and retaining students, then actually working with people. Instead of working with teachers, I was working with adjunct instructors from the fields of business, medicine, automotive, and technology. All noble fields, but not my world of education. We talked a different language and had different views on what "success" was. My days were spent with budgets, schedules, and strategic planning and I was longing to be working with teachers, meeting with parents, and of course seeing the faces of young children light up as they learned new things! At first, I thought I was just "homesick" for my old job and decided to stick with it. However, after a few years, I realized that I would not be happy unit I was back doing what I loved...and that was being an elementary school principal!
Fortunately, I reentered the world of public education in the job I love most and have never looked back. Although those years were difficult for me, I was able to gain a new perspective and a new appreciation for my job. It has made me thankful for many things that most principals might not be thankful for. Difficult parents? I'm thankful to have the opportunity to work with them on reaching solutions that will help the child. We may disagree on tactics, but we always come to agreement on the fact that the child comes first. Long evenings at the school? I'm thankful to have a work environment that we can make fun for students, staff, and me! And I'm not driving to corporate headquarters across the state. Challenging evaluations? I'm thankful to be working with staff that speak the same language as me and feel the same passion for helping students as I do. I realized from my time away, that education is a calling not a career and I feel that I'm doing what I was called to do. And for that reason, I'm thankful for that time away that showed me what I was really meant to do!
Educational Twitter Account @jon_wennstrom
PEARLS OF WISDOM
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward
"When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others." - Dalai Lama
Wednesday, December 3: Achievement Team Meeting 8:15 am
Student of the Month Assembly at 3:00 pm (Safety)
Thursday, December 4: Staff Meeting at 8:00 am (School Improvement)
Tuesday, December 9: Staff Christmas Party in the evening
Wednesday, December 10: Administrator training on MiStar DNA 1:00 pm
Thursday, December 11: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
Elementary Principal Meeting 1:00 pm
Friday, December 12: Administrative Title 1 Meeting at Cleveland 8:00 am