On paper, I’m almost two full months into my new position. In reality, it’s exactly 32 days. I’ve been running since my feet hit the ground. And though I know the value of reflection, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that written reflection has not been a priority over the last month or so. Moving into this position without the chance to take a break and catch my breath has been quite the whirlwind experience. I know that rest doesn’t change everything, but I’d still like the opportunity to test that theory out personally.
For the time being, I’m trying to focus as much as possible on spending my weekends resting. I’d give myself a solid B, maybe even a B+ for effort. There’s definitely room for improvement in that category. It’s difficult. I spend my weekdays learning the new system and navigating the new normal of a “post Covid” world. (I have that in quotation marks because I don’t personally believe that we are in the post stage yet, nor do I think any of this is normal, but that another post for another day.) Weekends should be for rest, but they are mostly for daydreaming & planning. I have so many thoughts & ideas racing through my head. Sometimes I have to grab my phone to try to capture them, and I still don’t get them all down. But I know that in due time, they will come back to me.
As usual, there have been many lessons in this new role that were not included in any textbook or scenario-based response from graduate school. I’ve had to draw on my experiences from my previous school district and reach out to my network of support. I expect that will continue over the duration of this transition, and I’m not overly concerned. I know that it is all a part of the process. Transitioning into a a new leadership role as an external hire is a unique experience that is quite different than transitioning as an internal hire. There are relationships to navigate, unspoken expectations, and the general awkwardness of the unknown. Even in the differences, it still somehow feels familiar. It’s very reminiscent of my experiences during the 2017-2018 school year. I survived then, and I’ll definitely survive now.
I know that I’m here for a reason, and I believe wholeheartedly that it will be a great experience. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, as I venture into more direct campus support & I have an opportunity to begin to engage more with our teachers, staff, students & community members. There is also the added bonus of reconnecting with some old teaching buddies & reliving the good old days… back when we were so new we didn’t even realize what we didn’t know. I’m looking forward to the laughter, and I’m also looking forward to realizing just how much we’ve grown. I’ve already had the chance to reconnect with a few of my old students, and my heart is just about ready to burst every time I hear “Ms. May is that you?” floating through the air. There are so many amazing educators & students who helped shape me into the person that I am today. We may be spread out all over the Houston metro area, but I hope that I continue to make all of them proud.
I must admit, this felt good. I needed this time to openly reflect, and my faithful readers now know that I’m still alive and well, lol. I am going to hold myself accountable for pausing to do this more often. One of the hallmarks of my leadership style has always been transparency. If sharing my experiences can help just one other person, then it’s all wort it. If that’s you, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time….
Note to Self:
This image was found on The Teacher’s Devotional Blog in a post from Sept. 2016. I loved the image, but I loved the post & corresponding message even more. If you’re interested, take a moment and read this post for yourself. You won’t regret it!
2 thoughts on “First Days, Reflections and Some Other Third Thing”
Hi Ashley! It’s wonderful to get an update on you. I know that you are already making a big difference in your new role. I’m excited to continue to keep up with you . You are an inspiration!
Thanks Karyn! It’s so good to hear from you. Hoping that all is well with you!