Nobody’s complained about the absence of my weekly reflections, but I suppose I feel the need to explain anyway. Our last day of school was today. This week was finals week. I have been crazy busy because not only am I finishing up the year, but I’m also moving classrooms and wearing a new hat, which has taken up some time this week. My department chair is leaving us, and I was offered and accepted the position of English Department Chair. I have never been an administrator of any sort, and I always said I didn’t want to be, but I do want to do this job, and I want to do it well. As department chair, I will take on duties such as managing department issues (professional development, book orders and inventory, ensuring department tasks are done), facilitating meetings between my department members and parents (if necessary), serving as a liaison between administration and my department, planning and conducting department meetings, and probably a lot more stuff I don’t even realize I’ve taken on.

OK, I admit I am excited and honored. I didn’t think I would be in this position a few years ago. Initially, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it because I wasn’t sure I could do it. Over the last few weeks, however, I have decided that as long as I approach this new position as I always tried to approach my job and I do the best job I can do, it will be fine. I actually am pretty good at the paperwork and bookkeeping elements of teaching. What will be new for me is being in a position of some authority.

I am looking forward to this new challenge. My school has offered me a great deal of freedom and support to grow as a teacher. In the four years I have been there, I have written an English Journal article, made a presentation at a statewide conference, offered professional development to my colleagues in the faculty, connected with educators all over the country and the world through blogs and wikis (with the support of my administration when many schools discourage blogging), and genuinely felt embraced and valued for my contributions in way I have never felt anywhere else. And it has only made me want to do more. I have done more in the four years I have been at my school because I have been able, through their support, to do more.

So… onward and upward to even more great things!

11 thoughts on “Changes”

  1. Congratulations, Dana. I am sure your thoughtful reflection will make for a stronger department. By the way, we are enjoying the writing book you recommended at our school. We didn't join the book club with so much to do at the end of the year, but it's a great resource!

  2. Congratulations, Dana. I think you'll make a wonderful department head. I only wish I had half of your talent and creativity as an English teacher.

  3. Congratulations! You'll do a fantastic job, I'm sure and I bet if you were the dept. head at my old school, I'd still be there!

  4. Thanks, Susan, and I'm glad the book is good. I had to put it aside for a while to catch up on stuff at the end of the year, but I'm ready to pick it up again.

    Thanks, Kim! I appreciate it.

    Thanks, Nancy, and it's a shame if it's true! I have had some poor administrators in my own past, though, and I've left because of them, so I can relate.

  5. Congratulations! It is wonderful that your school recognizes how creative, innovative and talented you are as an educator and trusts you to lead others in your department.

    By the way, I suspect that most of us were too busy ending school to read on-line posts. I've left my summer free to play catch up with the 7,000 e-mails sitting in my box (I'm not kidding).

  6. Congrats, Dana. Though I don't get to work alongside you physically, I'm certainly enjoying learning and growing with you online.

  7. Hi Dana,

    I am in search of strong blogs that deal with educational issues. I am a soon-to-be college graduate in the field of Secondary ELA and have been assigned this task and am in high hopes that I can count on you throughout this semester! It is good read about the great opportunities that one can accomplish while in their teaching carreer. I wish you luck and will be writing back to you soon!

  8. Congratulations! I wish all the best for you and your department – and I suspect they'll be well-looked after by you.

Comments are closed.