06 August 2008

The Blog, It Is A'Changin'

Sometimes when I toodle around the edusphere, I feel positively ancient. My little corner of this on-line world is not quite four years old and it has seen a lot of change in that time---not just in my own life as a professional, but in the community in general. I am delighted to find new writers...and grieve the fallen bloggers among us. Oh, how I miss Graycie and Mr. Lawrence. Ms. Frizzle has moved on to new career adventures. I hope you all are well and happy.

I am certainly not ready to hang up my blogging shoes, but I have to admit that my focus has really had some major adjustments. I went from being in the classroom 80% of the time...to 20% of the time...to none of the time...to half time. I've tackled elementary science, new to the profession teachers, an EdD, and delving into grading/motivation. I've learned how to make learning meaningful for adults as well as first graders. I got to both attend and present at conferences. As someone who is more interested in the journey than the destination, this has been a wonderful time in my life.

But change is coming again---good change for me. After twelve years in one spot, I have tendered my resignation. The school district is going down paths that I cannot follow. It has been noted by many that "all of the good ones are leaving." I've seen the people I respect the most already make their way to greener pastures, and it is now my turn. It makes me sad that we are having to abandon something we love and the students we've cared for to leadership (both administrative and union) which has no interest in doing the right thing, let alone the integrity to carry it through. The supe is fond of saying that "You're either on the bus, or you're not." which is oddly reminiscent of others I can't identify with. I've made my choice, as have many others I know. My friends who have already emigrated remark at how much more enlightened other districts and programs are. They have not found Utopia, only relief. This used to be an amazing place to work. Perhaps it will be again, someday. I hate to think of exactly how derelict it will become in the meantime...but I can do no more here.

As for me, I have a new job and a wonderful future. I have a very big job working with the state---a job I'm not sure that any mere mortal can actually do and do well. But I will try. And starting next week, I will launch myself into all sorts of new experiences and start growing as a professional in ways that I would never have anticipated when I started my career. This old dog is going to have to learn all kinds of new tricks.

I'm not sure what this will mean for this space. I do plan to continue blogging, but there will be a lot about my work that I won't be able to share. (My hunch is that it would make for very dry reading, anyway.) Now that I will be away from a school, I think it's more important than ever that I stay connected to the conversations happening around the edusphere. I need to keep tuned into what is happening with teachers---and most importantly, kids. I can't be effective as a leader if I am removed from all of that. My hope is that my transition will be good fodder for talking about how to make large scale change happen...that I can make the legislation to classroom process more transparent (although it's doubtful I will be able to make it be logical)...and that having this role will provide a different kind of perspective and voice in the edusphere. I don't know of any edubloggers who do the kind of work I will be doing.

Hang in there with me. The blog may be a'changin'.


Hugh O'Donnell said...

It's all relative, SG. Only in this case you'll be a pacesetter. So far, the highest level of edublogging has been done by courageous administrators no high than the superintendency.

Show us that a goddess in the state bureaucracy can have a voice in the edusphere. Think of the example you can set!

Of course, you may have to change your nom de plume, blogging platform, social security number, passport...

Stay safe and stay happy. Nothing a good snob beer or two won't cure. ;)

Unknown said...

My first reaction was "Wow, great for you!", then "What about me?"! I love your blog, it's great to get more of an Admin's perspective, and such a level one at that. Please please please keep blogging!

And congrats again! Enjoy your new challenge!

The Science Goddess said...

Thank you for your great comments and wonderful support. I feel very hopeful about the future. Keep me grounded!

Roger Sweeny said...

Sometimes I would read your posts and think, "How can she say that? I wouldn't dare write that about the people I work with." It must have been a pretty hard situation.

I hope things are better going forward.

Joe said...

Congrats on your new adventure! The state is lucky to have you. I look forward to reading all about it. I can completely relate to your statement "not found Utopia, but relief." Its a good place.

Clix said...

As far as I'm concerned, you will always be a teacher - even if you're saddled with stubborn fuddies like us! :D

The Science Goddess said...

Hey, I like 'em stubborn. I enjoy a challenge!

Roger---this district used to be truly focused on what's best for kids. It was such an energizing and positive place to work. Changes in leadership have meant changes in priorities...and not for the best. The past year has been positively hellish, for many reasons which I cannot describe here and now...but will at some point when all has died down. I hope things are better, too.