Sunday, 21 April 2013

Up Up and Away!

Friday I accepted the superintendent's position within my district. The congratulations and good wishes from colleagues, trustees, staff, parents, former students and people I didn't even know, was both gratifying and humbling. Its nice to know the board's decision was a popular one, and I will do my best to prove worthy of such support.

Now the real work begins. Not that I was wasn't working before, but as the Assistant Superintendent, and the Director of Instruction before that, there was always at least one more door I could bring questions to. Its a bit intimidating to think that that last door is now mine. Its not like there's about to be wholesale change. I did work as part of the outgoing superintendent's senior management team for over six years. I had a big part in creating the circumstances he's handing off, and that should help make the change over a little easier.

There will be differences though. The previous superintendent and I have our similarities but there are significant differences too! So the future will bring a combination of new and old. A guest column blog entry at The Ratrace by Mario Taylor, entitled "You Have A Dream, So Now What?" summarizes this situation well. Everyone learns from those who've come before them. The key is to do the legwork  and "maven up". 

Valuing past learning needs to be combined with forward looking action. As identified by Sources of Insight, and other advisors for personal efficacy, fresh starts need to focus on opportunities and not getting bogged down in the enormity of the tasks at hand. An emphasis on valuing up the opportunity can help combat feelings of backlog burnout. To do lists are suddenly a bigger part of my life.

So onwards and upwards. The road ahead is daunting and the tasks varied and many, but exciting none the less. Paraphrasing Lucy Maud Montgomery's heroine, Anne Shirley only slightly, I can say "Before my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does!"  Bringing out the best in people is really what education strives for. Our district's motto is "Together We Learn".  I'm certain there are going to be lots of learning opportunities ahead for everyone. 

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