Monday, June 14, 2010

One chapter ends, another begins

It's been a couple of weeks now since school let out; since my time as an employee of my former district ended. It's still semi-unreal to me that I won't be returning to that same school where I invested the past eight years of my life. And yet, while I do regret that I won't be continuing to work with the students and teachers I had been working with, at the same time, I learned a lot this year, and so I cannot truly say it was a wasted year. I learned a lot about leadership, about what poor leadership looks like and what poor leadership acts like. I learned that sometimes you stand up for what's right, even though it can cost you more than you think.

And I think that's what my students learned as well. Based on feedback I've gotten from my (now former) students, I taught them a lesson that will never appear on any test, never will be added to any sort of score, and is likely far more important than how to avoid comma splices. I taught them that when it comes down to it, standing up for what you know is right, standing up for those who can't, is always the right thing to do, even if you lose. In the long run, it's worth it, and you really don't lose anything.

I have since started my new job in a new district, and I'm really excited about it. I'm back to working with middle school students, but this time, it's with a twist: I'm going to be working as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. For about the past week, I've been working with a group of 6th grade (soon to be 7th grade) students in a summer school/pd environment. I have 12 students from eight different countries on three different continents, and their language skills range from barely speaking and understanding oral English language to high fluency in oral English language.

I'm pretty excited about this new direction that my new career is taking. I've been taking a new look at the tools introduced to me through the technology leadership program I was a part of in my old district and figuring out how ones I'd been using and ones I hadn't used can be utilized in this new environment.

So I'm off on a new adventure with a whole new horizon and a whole new set of skills to be built. It should be fun!