“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” –Albert Einstein
My last first day of school was in 1987. Just like in previous years, the night before was not a restful night for me. Finally, I was a senior in high school. I stayed up all night because I was so excited. I wondered about my teachers, and I wondered if I would have classes with any of my friends. I gave little thought to my actual class work because I was a good student. I really did not have to put much effort into what I did at school. My grades were good, and I did not worry about getting into a good college. Side note: I was accepted into every college that I applied to but decided to go the what was then known as West Georgia College. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who previously was a professor at the College called it the ‘Harvard of the South’. It was at West Georgia that my passion for service, leadership, and ultimately, servant leadership was born.
School starts in a couple of weeks for the students in my district. As an instructional technology coach, I work 210 days, so summer vacation is over for me. Going back to work does not bother me at all. I love what I do, and I look forward to learning new things and sharing my knowledge with the teachers. I’ve missed my colleagues, and I miss the day-to-day routine that comes with work. I am just as excited about going back to work as I was about going back to school. There’s still a nerdy little kid inside of me.
Getting ready to go back to work made me think about school. I think about what the students need to do and what they will actually do. I think about their hopes and dreams and fears and insecurities. I think about the teachers, and I think about the administrators. From time to time, I wonder how things would be if I had my own school. Would I be a good administrator? Would the students achieve academic success? Would they have good character? Would I be able to take off my principal hat and get involved in student activities? What about the teachers? Would I be firm yet fair in their eyes? Would I be the kind of instructional leader they could respect? Would I be an effective school leader? What would my school look like?
I wonder what things would be like if I had gotten a job as an assistant principal. I interviewed several times, yet I was not selected. Each time I got the phone call, I felt more dejected than before. I felt I was qualified. Why couldn’t the interview committee see that? Looking back in retrospect, I realize that I wasn’t supposed to be an assistant principal. At least not at that time in my career. I am where I am supposed to be. I am full of anticipation for a new school year. I am fresh off the high that only an ISTE attendee can have. I have so many ideas about what to do with the teachers and things I want to do for my own professional and personal growth.
As I mentionedned in the beginning of my post, I graduated from high school in 1987. My class was the first class to graduate from the ‘new’ Griffin High School. Our motto, “A New Beginning That Never Ends”. That’s how I feel. I’m not new anymore, but my new job is a new beginning that never ends. I am an instructional technology coach and with it comes so many possibilities.