lit lover book

reflections of an ever-evolving educator

Sunday, July 24, 2005

struggling to let go

I am starting a new job for the first time in 18 years. Although officially I don't begin until Aug. 1, truthfully I feel as though I started as soon as last school year ended.

I am moving out of the classroom, something I never thought I'd do, and something I keep wondering if I will regret. The position is called Instructional Lead Teacher (a really unclear, almost nonsensical job title, if you ask me). Basically, I'll be mentoring new teachers and overseeing professional development for the faculty. It's a job I've thought I wanted for awhile, and at the school that's in my backyard, so I should feel happy.

While moving onto something new is exciting, it's also scary as hell. I've been pretty confident in my abilities for a long time now. For many years, I've gone in to work each day knowing what needs to be done, and mostly doing it. Not always perfectly, but still...knowing what needs to be done. Not so much, now.

The hardest thing to let go of has been yearbook, and I keep getting pulled back in. Next year's editor, Emily, is one of my favorites. There's just something about her--her positive spirit, her work ethic, and her self-deprecating remarks, that made her a natural choice for the job. But now she wants to quit.

And I can't blame her. First, she has some major health issues that may necessitate surgery. She doesn't want to bring the whole staff down, and she knows that with a new sponsor, she would have the entire staff looking entirely to her for guidance.

But I think equal to that is the fact that the new sponsor has no experience and seems unenthusiastic about doing what it takes to get the job done. She informed Emily that everyone would just have to get all their work done during class because she herself absolutely cannot stay after school. For those of you who are unfamiliar with working on a school publication let me just say, that is utterly impossible. 50 minutes a day is simply not enough. It's an unrealistic and unfair expectation of the kids.

I feel so sad about the whole situation, and angry that the administration ignored my advice and hired someone who didn't want to do this, when there was a far better candidate available who did. The most painful part is that I can't fix it and my hardworking staff is going to suffer for it. And poor Emily feels like she's letting me down.


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