Well, sadly, it’s been just about a year since we’ve blogged. Like every school year, this past year has brought its share of challenges and triumphs. In a lot of ways, it has been like a runaway train, and we just haven’t been able to carve out the time for meaningful blogging. But, we have missed the chance to reflect, connect, and share and are hoping to get back on track!
This past year, I (David) have been wearing many hats! A classroom highlight was working with my students to create a podcast called “Leaders Who are Readers.” Students composed their own introductory music for each episode and then recorded themselves reading children's books. The plan is to create a series of read-alouds to share with elementary students in our district. It was a fun project! Beyond the classroom, I conducted many concerts, directed a successful middle school musical, and took about 120 people on a five-day trip to Niagara Falls. While in Niagara, our middle school band won first place in all categories as well as the Esprit De Corp Award for character and manners. I am proud of their work! Additionally, I spent many hours leading the teaching staff as the Education Association President and serving as the lead negotiator, as we are in negotiations for a new contract. It has been a time consuming but very rewarding process!
Unfortunately, the year brought challenges as well. This spring I was passed up on two opportunities to serve as a new principal within my district. While I thought I interviewed well and showed my strengths, it just wasn't my time. In complete transparency, it was a tough pill to swallow and was a struggle to maintain a positive outlook. But like I said before, it must not be my time. I am truly trying to learn from it, grow from it, and better myself from this experience. I am excited to recharge my batteries over this summer, and spend a lot of time with family and friends!
For me (Steven) this year took me into the world of middle and high school! I have always been an “elementary guy” through and through, with very little desire to be involved with secondary education. Shortly before the school year began, I was appointed as the Interim PreK-12 Principal at my school. With the help of two interim assistant principals, I added 6th - 12th grade to my plate. Although I started the journey somewhat begrudgingly and hesitant, it turned out to be an amazing experience!
I am a person who thrives in a challenge and loves to learn; this year certainly provided me with both of those opportunities. However, the greatest gift came from a group of students. I began my teaching career in 2006, as a kindergarten teacher at the same school where I am now principal. Unbelievably, my first group of students were seniors this past year! Eight of the students in our senior class were my very own students that first year. The opportunity to serve as their principal and reconnect with them was an absolutely indescribable gift! I think every teacher would agree that their first class always holds a special place in their hearts. This group, especially, was an amazing, personable, and FUN group of kids and have been a blessing to stay connected with. Not many educators have the opportunity to have a front row seat to the entire K - 12 journey of a group of students, and so I don’t take that gift lightly!
I am continuing in the role of PreK-12 Principal in the year ahead. Over the next few weeks, I plan to share two blog posts that summarize things I’ve learned over this past year, serving on both ends of our campus. Elementary and secondary schools are often seen as polar opposites; however, I have learned so much from each that applies across grade-levels, and I am looking forward to getting my thoughts down via our blog.
Stay tuned for more to come from the #EduBros in the weeks ahead!