Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Plan C - Why I'm An Educator #SAVMP

Back in July, I shared a post about the School Administrators Virtual Mentor Program, a wonderful idea that my friend George Couros came up with to pair new administrators with experienced administrators during the 2013-2014 school year. If you are interested in learning more check out the SAVMP Blog here. You can also share in the learning on Twitter by following the hashtag #SAVMP. 

Our assignment for week one is to answer one of the following questions: Why Do I Lead? or Why I'm an educator? As you can see from the title of the post, I chose the second option. I look forward to sharing my learning here as the year continues...Now, back to my assignment.

photo via http://edelmaneditions.com/
Somewhere on my journey to be a Major League Baseball player, I was detoured by the fact that my fastball topped out at about 70 miles per hour and my ability to hit a pitch any faster than that occurred at a success rate of well under 30%. So I quickly adjusted my plan to play professional sports and instead decided to focus on writing about them.  I was much more fortunate in Plan B, landing a full-time sports writing position at a local newspaper a few years out of college. At first, it was a lot of fun covering sporting events and getting paid for it.  It was even more exciting when I got to cover the Bruins beat and a few Celtics games.

However, after about a year of experiencing the routine of a full-time sports writer, I came to the conclusion that something was missing. I was not feeling the sense of connectedness and excitement that I had felt when I was able to be part of a team. After a great deal of thought, I quit what I thought was my dream job and decided to go back to school to become a teacher. 

When I think about my path to "Plan C" it is clear that this was my destined path all along. First of all, I was raised by a teacher (my mom Nancy pictured below with 3 of her six grandkids).  My mom raised my brother and I as a single parent after the death of my father in my middle school years and some of my fondest memories were tagging along with her to her school and classroom.

In addition, my biggest male influences through my junior high and high school years were a few of my male teachers and coaches. I can honestly say that I was blessed to have so many caring adults that helped me far beyond my academic pursuits.  The truth of the matter is that school has always felt like home to me due to the nurturing environment created at the high school I attended. Ironically, many of these same teachers were big influences when I returned to my alma mater to work as an English teacher (and later an Assistant Principal).   

As I enter my 17th year year as an administrator, it is unbelievably satisfying to have a career that I love so deeply. It is a privilege to be able to work in a profession where you have the ability to support the development of young people! I can only imagine where I would be today if I hadn't been in schools where so many educators felt the same way! 

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