When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us – Alexander Graham Bell.
We received a one call alert on Tuesday asking the staff to meet at school Wednesday afternoon if possible. This has never happened before during summer break, so we knew there was big news coming. Immediately, the rumors started flying with the lead one being that our principal was leaving. She had been our principal for thirteen years and everyone knew she was interviewing for other positions. So we dutifully gathered in the library and waited. She entered with tears and we knew it was over. Goodbye, principal.
As I listened to her speech and looked around the room, so many eyes were full of tears. We have a small school and really are like a family. For many of us, she's the only principal we've worked for. We're excited for her, but I think we're also a little worried about our school (and ourselves, if we're honest). Change can be a good thing, but you always hope you get someone who is interested in understanding how your school works before mixing it all up with their new ideas. I'm hoping our new principal is able to find that balance. Perhaps our assistant principal will take over. Who knows? Previously, a committee of teachers was allowed to sit in on the interviews and have an opinion. We had a new superintendent take over last year, so we aren't really sure how the replacement process will go or what kind of leader he is looking for.
As we filed out of the library after our meeting, I stopped to give her a hug and wish her well on her next adventure. I was just sure I wouldn't cry through it, but she started to cry before I could even get my arms around her. Darn it, that did me in. She told me she thought I was wonderful and that she had always been so impressed with my work. It reminded me of being a new teacher going through my first evaluations with her.
I had come from a different school with a principal who wasn't very involved with the teachers. You never knew if you were doing a good job or falling on your face. Decisions were made for you instead of with you because what you wanted didn't really matter. To come from that to my current school was the difference between night and day. It made me feel appreciated, respected, and safe because we operated as a democracy. I can't help but wonder what next year will bring. I'm hoping we get someone who also respects the teachers, wants to partner with us, and brings some fresh ideas too. Change can be a good thing.
I know this post doesn't do much for you or your classrooms, but I needed to put this one out there so I could move on. I promise I'll be back next time with ideas you can use.