Monday, September 21, 2009

Know it All...NOT!

Are you all thinking I am a know it all snob?  I know I sound like it at times.  But I don't hold others to any standard higher than I hold for myself.  Really.  Ask anyone who knows me. I am not overly serious at work.  I am pretty fun to hang with and I can liven up a teachers' lounge in seconds.  I am a firm believer that teachers are people too and that often we are expected to not be human.  I have my unprofessional moments.  I use school email to communicate my frustrations very unprofessionally at times.  I have said less than kind things about families and kids to my most trusted peers.  I have ripped county social workers apart instead of working collaboratively with them.   I  am human first,  Queen of EBDland second.  

OK.  I started the third class this past weekend.  So I have school  communication and strategic planning, school finance, and ed leadership.  I have yet to really click with any of my classmates.  So many high school coaching males.  So many small town, young female elementary teachers.   I am in constant ponder mode trying to figure out why I feel no connection to the others.  Perhaps I am too judgmental.  I just have little to no tolerance for those who don't think critically.  I also find myself feeling quite impatient with those that are all about getting the assignment done with no real thought or depth...just get it done.  This degree shouldn't be only about jumping through hoops, should it?

Anyway, did anyone see the PBS special about two principals in poor performing schools?  Wow.  NPR did a nice 15 minute interview with both principals prior to the show airing.  Check it out.

The show itself had me considering getting a principal license along with my director of special ed license.  If I had no kids of my own I would do it.  The hours a truly effective principal has to put in to do the job right are endless.  The show made me ache to be back in the mix.  I do so miss the connections, the interactions, the joys and the challenges.  So, I pondered my direction quite a bit this weekend.

How do I apply what I know I am good at and love to being an administrator or program support in special education?  So much of those jobs are about meetings, politics and secret keeping.  Cover Your Ass seems to be the motto.  And while covering my fluffy, hail damaged ( I don't have cellulite, I have hail damage...totally not my fault, right?) rear end is a good practice, I think we have taken it a bit too far.  Fear serves a keeps us in line at times, but really, parents don't want to sue.  They just want what is best for their kids and it has been my experience (personally and professionally) that if there is trust and a sense that all concerned are genuinely interested in giving the kids the cadillac model, not the pinto, things goes well.  

So, at this spot of the journey, I have decided to only take a job that allows me to be with kids and their teachers, to model what I do best, to spot teachers who need a break, to know all the families of the speical ed kiddos...not just the ones like my husband and I who nag and prod and keep our name at the top of all district lists. So far that seems reasonable

I realize I am probably quite naive about what is possible.  That's OK.


  1. Those of us in education that want to make positive change are fighting an uphill battle. After awhile one decides to either leave education entirely or just teach in our own little bubble. It is a lonely and frustrating thing. Your connection with your classmates may never happen. You don't see eye to eye on the most basic problems in education. This does not surprise me.
    I don't know how many extra classes you might need but I would hope that you seriously consider getting your principal certification too. Unless you are at the top it is hard to make anyone do what they don't want to do. You want others to follow your lead. As a principal, you make the rules. It is not an easy thing to have a family, a life outside of school and be a principal too. Perhaps you will have to do it "down the line" so to speak.
    Good luck to you in your quest to learn as much as you can in your classes.

  2. Pondering is human, too. Emails? I miss the old crazy emails in "our" old building. I've written a few blog posts based on Actual Work Emails! I think it was the banana with the feather boa that inspired the first one...


Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.