Slowing down to move forward

By December 5, 2011 No Comments

For the past 11 years, I have had the privilege of teaching in a small-town school district.  I taught second grade with a wonderful team of teachers who listened to and shared best practices.  Then, at the end of last school year, I was given the chance to be our district’s first curriculum director.  My emotions worked the entire spectrum.  All summer I vacillated between excited, unease, and “What in the world did I do?”.  Well, my first day finally arrived and I moved into my new office.  It was strangely quiet on my first day of school…not the norm I was used to as an elementary school teacher.  Though I missed my former students, I didn’t miss the other aspects of being in the classroom.  This surprised me after my summer waffling.  Another fact that caught me pleasantly off-guard…I loved my new job from the beginning!  Since my entire career had been spent in elementary schools, I began doing some intense professional development.  Here is where things got tricky. I love to learn.  I love professional development.  I also love to train people.  The problem was every time I’d come back from a workshop, watch a webinar, or finish a book, I’d rush to my superintendent to tell him what we needed to be doing in our district.  Add to these learning experiences, everything being pushed down from our DOE: new standardized assessments, RtI implementation, transition to CCSS, new science and math curriculum…well let’s just say I was getting overwhelmed, and the teachers were beyond stressed.  A common mantra from my supe was “Janelle, you need to prioritize.”  Oh, but I wanted to get all of these initiatives and practices in place right now!  So, as the school year has moved on, I am adjusting to my new position.  I have set personal goals.  Our administrative team has set corporation goals.  And I have to continue revisiting them to make sure what I’m currently researching is in alignment with our current goals.  Through prioritizing, I’ve learned to slow down…and we are moving forward.