Sunday, December 19, 2010

The only thing constant is change....

      I've heard that quote over the years and have found that it is so very true. Fast or slow, expected or unforeseen - change is always happening. The last couple of weeks have been filled with changes - positive, yet frightening, and a tad bittersweet.
      A week ago on Thursday (Dec. 9) the superintendent and elementary and secondary supervisors came to visit our school. They had decided, with approval from the school board, to create a half-day principal position at our school, thereby allowing the current principal - who has been splitting his time between the elementary and high school - to be a full-time principal at the high school. This is a change that has been needed for many years, but the timing of it came as a bit of a shock. In separate meetings, they asked to speak with the sixth grade teacher and me because we are in the administrative program. They asked if we would be interested in the position. If we both said yes, then they would set up interviews for the next week. We both expressed interest and the interviews were set up for this past Thursday (Dec. 16). It was a bit of a nerve-wracking day, to say the least. My interview began at about 10:30 a.m. and finished about 45 minutes later. It was a bit intimidating sitting across from a good portion of the district office, plus our local school board member. (Okay, there were only 5 of them, but it was still as intimidating as if there had been twice that number.)
       I felt that I was as prepared as I could be and had prayed for the ability to express my self in an understandable and logical way. When the interview was finished, I felt that I had done pretty well, but I really did not think that I would receive the job. I was simply grateful to have made it through the interview without making any glaring mistakes.
       I knew that the sixth grade teacher is highly qualified, as well, and I knew he would do a good job as a principal. He had several good ideas that he had described during our year and a half in the educational leadership program together and I knew he would present himself well in the interview. When I left the interview, the committee said that they figured they would have the decision with 30 minutes. Nearly 2 1/2 hours later, the elementary supervisor came and escorted me down the the principal's office. (Yes, it did feel as if I was going to the office as a child - my nerves were on edge.) After I was seated in the office, they closed the door and proceeded to offer me the job. To say that I was dumbfounded is the understatement of the year! They told me that it had been a very difficult decision to which I responded that I had not envied them the task. We were both very qualified applicants who brought a variety of strengths to the table.
   As they started to describe what would happen, and the timing of when I would start, it started to sink in that I am sailing into uncharted waters. Instead of having months or even several weeks to prepare, my duties begin on January 3, 2011 - less than three weeks away. I am excited, in that this will be a good change for our school, to have a principal on the grounds. Yet, I am nervous as well, because I want to do a good job and I don't want to disappoint anyone. Additionally, a very qualified person, and a good friend and his family were hurt by the decision,  and that made the moment even more bittersweet because that was the last thing I wanted to happen. My feelings have been on a roller-coaster, feeling torn between feeling grateful for this new experience and not wanting to cause any hurt. And yet, the very person who could be the most upset at this decision, has been very gracious and kind. I spent the day, yesterday, with his family, as we studied for the Praxis test that we have to take in January as part of our Master's program. It was a good day and I enjoyed the visit with him and his wife and children. They truly have become very close friends, and I hope that never changes.
       This experience is bound to be a growing one for me. I have no illusions going in that it will be an easy job. I know there are times when I will feel isolated and alone and my comfort will be in knowing that I am never alone, that my Savior will always be there to offer comfort and guidance. I also know that I will have the support of a loving family, wonderful friends, and a great faculty and staff as I begin this new adventure.

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