Year nine, check!
It’s been a minute (okay, maybe it was since February!) since my thoughts and reflections actually made it to share with our blog-ience. But believe you me, Judd and I have not been doing nothing in the meantime. We have been….
Protesting, Prom-planning, musical-rehearsing, show-attending, final project-facilitating, grading, reflecting, interviewing for a new school, interviewing for new jobs, seeing seniors perform their last show on the stage, seeing seniors graduate, leaving behind a first job, re-committing to an old job, preparing for summer work,dreaming up plans for next school year, dreaming up plans for the future, traveling, being with friends, families, babies, doggies… the list goes on and on.
Our apologies for not keeping you afloat on all of our activities, but we do have a lot to share as the summer begins. I’m sure Judd will fill you in soon, but here’s a bit on what I’ve been up to.
A wandering eye led me to apply for a different position in Denver Public Schools this past April. The position is a hybrid of teaching high school theatre as well as being the lead of the Arts Department and observing and coaching teachers. Having been told about the position by a trusted colleague, I was intrigued but I was also honestly scared and skeptical at first. What would it be like to tell my students, their families my co-workers that I was leaving? What would it be like to start over in a new school? How would I take to being a leader of other teachers who teach different performing arts than I do? Would it be a good professional move for me?
On the other hand, it was exciting to me to think about a new challenge. During that time of year, stress can be particularly high because of state testing, being in the thick of musical rehearsals, preparing for final projects, graduation requirements,etc. From the middle of all of that fog, a new job for next year looked pretty desirable. And so, I swept off the dust from the old resume, spent time putting together a cover letter and introductory video, and left my destiny in the hands of fate. After waiting a week to hear back, I began to imagine how I’d tell my students I was going be leaving. I planned out who I would recruit to take over my job, and how I would try and make that transition as seamless as possible. Everything would be okay and would fall into place .
Well, fate turns out that I didn’t get the job. Without very much feedback or explanation, they told me there were so many good candidates and that they did not need to see me for an interview. What? Nothing? My ego was shot. I have spent the last 9 years as a DPS educator, and the last 7 concentrated on theatre education, taking all the extra opportunities that presented themselves to me, taken on various leadership roles and curriculum writing, planning, organizing PDU’s... my resume was impressive! It wasn’t me, it was them, I was assured by many. However, this mini crisis did help me to take a step back and get a better bird’s eye view of what my career future holds and gauge on how I am feeling about my current gig.
At this point, I’ll be returning to DCIS in the fall and I am dedicated to returning with an invigorated attitude about the awesome opportunity I have here. In the last month…
I have had the privilege to hear testimonials from dozens of graduating seniors about the positive impact the Drama program has had on them. I even got to read off 20 names of students from my advisement that I have taught for the last 4 years and send them off into the world as a proud, glowing educator.
I have seen my students shine on stage and off stage. “Beauty and the Beast” was the biggest success the Drama Club has had! And while it was sad to see 16 seniors take their final bow, I am very excited for the direction the group is going for years to come.
I have seen my colleagues grow into dear friends and comrades. I have seen my administrators be unwavering in their support of me and my program. I have been surprised by the outpouring of help that I received when I asked for it, and the understanding and recognition of my efforts when I was potentially going to be leaving.
Realizing the positive aspects of where I am at, what I am doing and what I have done during my time as a teacher have confirmed that perhaps the grass is not always greener in another school. And while the days are long (I still cried every day when I drop my kid off at her daycare!) it’s really actually so that the years are short! This was number nine! And I can honestly say that I can’t wait to see what the next nine will bring.