As I cleaned out my classroom and moved my items into a tiny office, the memories of teaching hit me. All of those moments in class that have shaped me as an adult more than my students will ever know. The moments when students inspired me, when they made me crack up, and even when they made me angry. All of those moments are what mold educators into the strange, but passionate people they are. Here we are working so hard to positively influence students and set them up for a successful tomorrow, all the while being impacted by them just as much as they are by us.
In many ways it will be difficult for me to move on from such a great experience. It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I won't have that everyday face to face with the same group of kids over time. Now, my replacement will have all of those opportunities to connect on a deep level with each student that passes through his door. However, as sad as it makes me to leave that chapter of my career behind, I have to look at what makes my new opportunity so exciting.
All of that work in establishing my positive classroom environment will be applied towards establishing a collaborative environment for my teachers and an inspiring atmosphere for the student body. All of that work planning the projects my students would create will now be dedicated to supporting my staff in becoming the best teachers that they can be. All of that work looking for resources and funds for projects in my class will now be applied towards providing more opportunities school wide for all of the students. All of the personal connections with students will be applied to the whole student body whether it be through the teachers or myself.
When I think about my new role in these terms, I am thrilled to take on the challenge. I want to treat every student just like the student who I connected with so well in the classroom. I will put my full energy into doing what is best for kids and working towards providing seemingly impossible opportunities for students and staff. Because in the end, the passion that makes good teachers, also makes good leaders. Leading is teaching.