Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Taking the Leap

I’ve decided to begin an administrative program this fall.

It’s sort of been an evolution. When I went into teaching I never would have figured myself as the guy in the principal’s office, but as the years have gone by a lot of the people I work with have said that they could see me doing it. My work with the Association has shown me, too, that the best way to represent your school is to have a seat at the table, and I’m hoping that I can do a lot of good for my school and my kids by taking that next step.

It’s also a tough decision, because of the Union. I like being vice-president of my local. I like being involved in my regional Uniserv office, and going to the WEA Leadership Academy next week may well be the highlight of my summer. I think that if I stuck with it I could have a shot at getting more leadership roles higher up, which would be a neat thing.

This is also our open year for our contract, so next summer we’ll be hitting the bargaining table again. That’s going to take a lot of my concentration, because there are some big issues that have presented themselves in recent years. It’s also a tough position, to bargain for the teachers while at the same time making plans to not be one of them any longer, but I think that people have enough faith in my character to know that I’m going to fight for the membership every bit as hard as I would otherwise. It’ll be fun!

The final deal-breaker was looking at where things could be going with my daughter. If the insurance says no to the cochlear implants, we may have to go it alone. She starts at the HOPE School, our area school for deaf kids, this fall in their toddler group, an expense that is covered by the county social services office, but there’s still a cost involved in the days that I’ll take off, the childcare, the transportation, the other extended learning opportunities that have shown success with deaf kids, etc. To provide the kind of life that I want to provide her, I have to step it up somewhere. The principalship seems like a good means to that end.

Frankly, it’s also an exciting proposition. Setting the agenda, leading the charge, helping a whole school be successful—I really like that idea. I doubt that I’d get a job right out of the program, but having the credential would give me options, and that’s always a happy thing.

I decided to go with Eastern, which was an easy, easy choice after speaking with Les Portner, who runs their leadership program. My Master’s degree was through EWU, so I’d already taken many of the classes required for the administrator’s certificate. With 5 classes and an internship, to be done in the 2008 – 2009 school year, I’ll be legal.

The classes look pretty interesting, too. Should give me a ton of fodder for the blog!

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4 Comments:

Blogger The Science Goddess said...

Awesome! Congratulations on this new direction in your professional life.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your decision, Ryan! I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about. ;-)

10:24 PM  
Blogger ms-teacher said...

I'm also actively involved in my local and will be serving on our bargaining team this year. Like you, I've decided to get my admin. credential for a lot of the same reasons you outlined. I probably won't start my program for another year. It'll be interesting to read your blog about your experience!

11:05 AM  
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6:57 AM  

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