As we head into a new school year, there are lots of changes all around me, some great, some bittersweet, some worrying.
We sent our middle daughter off to Buenos Aires for a semester abroad at the end of July.
We took our youngest to college last week.
Our oldest son is transferring from community college to a 4 year college. Lucky for us, he is living at home.
I began a new position this year, after 28 years in the classroom, as interim assistant principal of the elementary school my kids went to.
My mom and I finished and sent in our second book together, due to be published in January (a collection of teacher essays about teaching).
We are adding an apartment to our house so that my mom can move in (from around the corner!).
In local politics, we have had a huge shake-up of leadership at the district administration and school committee, with the hopeful promise of new leadership coming in November.
Some of these changes feel surreal to me. The fact that both of my girls are away is unsettling. I still expect to see them when I come home, but their rooms are neat and quiet.
The change to being an administrator again was unexpected and happened after the school year ended. Last time I was an administrator, there was a lot I loved about it, and when it ended I couldn't figure out if it was the job or the team I worked with, or both. Since then, I had been hesitant to return to administration. However, last year was challenging, straining, stressful and exhausting as teachers united to demand both a fair contract and an honest administration. I felt the months of struggle wearing on me and was grateful to have a summer of mostly staying home and working only for a week, teaching a class. I feel strongly we should listen to what our gut tells us, and when this job offer came up, I felt genuinely excited - that's when I knew I should say yes to it. So I did, and while part of my heart remains with my colleagues and students at the middle school, I also know that some distance will give me a fresh perspective and new colleagues and students to appreciate. So far, it has been great - a lot of learning, but so many people have been helpful and genuinely kind. I miss being in front of students, teaching, but I also welcome this new schedule and the chance to do something different.
I am trying to roll with the changes of having 2 out of my 3 kids out of the house, but I'm not going to say it's easy. I know they are happy and growing and learning, and that helps - but my heart still aches. I also left my teacher bestie behind, and that's hard on both of us! Luckily my new position is keeping me pretty busy and my thoughts occupied.
Wishing all educators a happy beginning to the 2023-24 school year. I'll keep you updated on my learning and challenges being an administrator!