Friday, August 9, 2013

My New Job

As you know, I do not discuss work here because I don't believe it's ethical. However, I'm going to make an exception tonight because today was my first day at my new district. First I'll give a bit of an intro about the district. It's huge. There are about 25,000 students district wide and about 3,000 employees. The district continues to expand rapidly. My school is 6-8 with 1,100 students and, based upon what I saw today, new students are still enrolling (about 100 new students in the last month). Originally, it's bread and butter was serving families of the Colorado Springs military.

The day consisted of a gathering of all newly hired employees (of which there were a bit over 200). We met in the auditorium of one of the schools (it's actually a Pre-K through 12 school and it is gorgeous and a really interesting layout/concept). We heard from the Superintendent as well as the President of the school board and some other folks. Then we were grouped and sent to breakout sessions where policies, procedures, and district philosophies were discussed. Ya know how sometimes you go to meetings and there's just a lot of fluff and not really any meaningful content (like a majority of the meetings at my previous district)? This was not like that at all. While there was a lot of information being thrown at us, it was all good and even with 13 years under my belt, I appreciated it and walked away with more knowledge.

They catered a delicious lunch for us and we all sat together at our own school tables. All building principals came over to join us and I just thought that was really special. We were released at 1:20 to go to our individual schools where we met further with our administration team. While we only met briefly, I know that this year is going to be special.

One statement that speakers kept coming back to was..."It is very difficult to get hired in this district and it would be considered a feather in ones cap to even get an interview through the screening process. You are all sitting here because you beat out, in some cases, as many as 100 other applicants and we felt that you were the most qualified to work with our students and we wanted YOU." This really hit me hard. The breakout sessions were so professional that I found myself inspired and actually questioning whether or not I deserve this. I know I do but even now, it's hard to find the right words to describe how I felt and still feel. The last 8 years has been extremely disappointing for me, professionally speaking. I NEVER looked forward to going back to work and it never had anything to do with students. I love teaching. The issue for me was, ultimately, not being treated like a professional.

I am so proud to be a staff member for this school district (statistically, one of the finest districts in the state). Initially I was slated to teach special education (mainly reading) at the seventh grade level. But my grade level administrator called an audible over the summer and moved me to 6th grade reading. She did this because the caseload is tougher from a behavior standpoint and she knew how much I love that piece. I am so thankful. I feel like Heather and I have had a bit of a rough road (not as a couple...we are very strong in that regard) but more so professionally. She now has a job that she loves and I see very good things happening at this job that will make me better and I am so ready for that challenge.

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