In the time of the drive today, I feel the same sadness I used to feel when I left summer camp. I made new friends but I won't get to see them until the next time we are all together.
This new job for me is a great place. And I can tell because I pay attention to the little things. Here's a few little things I saw:
- Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent giving kids high fives as they pass in the hallway.
- Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent giving teachers and support staff hugs while taking the time to ask (and listen to the response) on how they were doing.
- Introducing me to any person in the hall or classroom we went into.
- Introducing me to a new person and then telling me how each person goes beyond their assigned duty and what they are an expert in.
- Board meeting taking an extra hour long because we have over 105 teachers to honor for achieving more than 45+ hours of professional development on their own time. These teachers received a certificate and shook hands with each board member and director in line.
- Assistant Superintendent and I visiting campuses to check testing security but also to deliver the annual Sonic drinks to principals during testing times.
- Walls covered for testing in classrooms but wall coverings covered in positive messages to kids: "We believe in you!"; "The STAAR is strong in this one!" (Staar Wars themed hallway); and other very positive messages.
- Joy - visible joy in people working day by day. People happy at work.
- Fun - people enjoying the people they work with and generally having fun with each other. Lots of laughing and everyone is in on the joke.
Maybe this is the power of working in smaller districts that I just didn't see in the larger ones that seemed too professional or wrapped up in policy?! Or maybe I just wasn't in on the joke?
But I like this new place and can't wait to get started. It is the perfect fit.
The icing on the cake were the texts from administrators while i was driving today wishing me a safe journey and excited that I was coming to work with them. They have no idea how much more I am excited to work with them.