Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sharing the Journey

Day 7 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge: "Who was or is your most inspirational colleague?"

Well, there is a question that could take days to answer.  Not because I have to think about who that person is but rather because there are so many people that I believe belong on that list for me.  As a fairly new Administrator, I have to recognize not only those people who inspired me to become an educator in the first place, but also those who encouraged and inspired me to become an administrator, and finally those who encourage, inspire, challenge, and support me every single day in my new role...

I was not always an educator.  I came to this career later in life.  I began in the corporate world and after a few detours ended up in the classroom.  My first mentors and sources of inspiration were a group of high school students that I worked with at my church.  They are now all adults, many married with families of their own, pursuing their own careers.  However, had it not been for their support, their honesty, and their encouragement I never would have considered becoming a teacher.  So to the St. Barts crew, THANK YOU!  You made a lasting impact on me, and by default, hundreds of students.

As a teacher, there have been colleagues throughout my years in the classroom who have inspired me, kept me sane, and been willing to engage in a hallway conversation about a student or an idea for a lesson.  These individuals are also a long list, many of whom are no longer my immediate colleagues, but their influence remains.

Becoming an Administrator was definitely NOT my idea.  Let's just be clear on that.  However, my former principal saw something in me that I did not see in myself at the time.  Her encouragement, along with the daily mentoring of the other Administrators (one whom I replaced and the other that I am fortunate enough to still work with) allowed me to ease into my role.  They are a constant source of inspiration, even though two have retired.  I think it is good to have history to call upon when wrestling with some decisions.  They both were in their roles long enough that their legacy can still be felt and I rely on that legacy at times to help guide my own decisions.

Then of course, there is the PLN that has grown out of Twitter.  I am grateful for this group every day.  And I would know none of them if it wasn't for the happenstance of @DianaParadise1.  If you are reading this blog, it is most likely because you are a connected educator so I will not dwell on the benefits of social media.  I do, however, feel the need to acknowledge the woman who unknowingly got me hooked on Twitter, changing my life and making me a better educator as a result.

3 of my Ladies...
My final nod is saved for that group of amazing women that inspire me and challenge me every day.  I have a group of friends that have made an indelible mark on my spirit.  Some of these women I work with, some of them I used to work with.  But they are all educators and they all challenge, support, and encourage me.  These women are a sounding board, they push me out of my comfort zone, they share my passion for making schools a better place.  They are also wives and moms.  This is important because we all know how draining this job is.  When you have a family it makes it that much harder.  So having a group of women who "get it" is critical for me.

Many people have walked this journey with me.  Some made cameo appearances, others have been in it "for the long haul".  Regardless, they have all left their mark and inspired me to be a better educator.  So as I said in the beginning, I can't pick just one--sorry +TeachThought!  But I am grateful for every single person who has taken the time to share this journey with me.  I am a better educator because of each of you.  Thank you!


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