As I shared in my previous post, my job status with SPS has been in flux. I knew that my position was in danger of being cut for most of the school year. While our team thought that my position would ultimately be salvaged, it has not happened. I accepted a job offer at another district.
I spent the last couple of months of the school year feeling sorry for myself, so I won’t rehash my own personal grieving process in full here. Franklin is special for countless reason, not the least of which is the fact that Dennis went to school there. Working at FHS allowed me to literally retrace his footsteps everyday.
From a professional standpoint, I loved the unique combination of naive idealism and pragmatism that animated our work. The way we imagined our work included the use of lofty language like building “the beloved community” and pursuing a more “diverse and pluralistic society.” For us, Franklin was always a singular instantiation of a much larger vision; we aspired to be a witnessing community. No surprise, given that the conversations we had about the specific functions of our position was peppered with words like “shepherding,” “pastoral,” “sacred,” and “mystical.” But all of these lofty ideals were always grounded in the day-to-day realities of how to turn our vision into things like policy statements and meeting agendas.
For all of these reasons, landing the AP position at Franklin was the dream job. I continue to try and make sense of why I am no longer there. I have some emerging ideas about this.
First, I am rediscovering my voice as a leader. I was a vocal, outspoken, highly opinionated, arrogant leader as a college student. I was humbled along the way, but in the process, my voice became timid and quiet. I am uncertain about the value of my perspective and I question whether or not I have earned the seat I have at the table. Moving from an admin team of four to a team of two will challenge me to trust myself and learn who I am as a leader.
Second, as an aspiring principal, I am now forced to think with more intentional focus on how to create a mission-driven organization. At Franklin, it was already built. That won’t necessarily be the case moving forward.
Third, I am reminded of the sage advice I heard over and over again during my time at Danforth: “You’ll end up where you’re supposed to be.” Education leaders, I find, are always evoking the spiritual and metaphysical. For whatever reason, I was supposed to get a taste at Franklin, and then move on. I don’t fully understand why, but I need to proceed in faith that I am in fact where I’m supposed to be.
I am thankful for the opportunity to continue working as an assistant principal, working under someone who seems like a phenomenal leader, and in support of a diverse student body and tight-knit group of teachers. Slowly, my heart is catching up to what my head already knows is a good situation for me.