Sunday, March 22, 2015

The One Where Sandy Takes a New Job

This is it. The blog post where I talk about taking a new job. And it isn't in educational technology.

Back in January, I wrote about an opportunity I had to fill a gap while my district was looking for a new communications director. That opportunity eventually led to an offer to work under the newly hired director as a communications specialist. I accepted the position and have been working in and learning my new position for the past eight weeks.

Although not an opportunity I was directly seeking, it came along at a good time for me. I'd been experiencing a "stuck-in-a-rut" feeling for at least the past year in my previous position, as the responsibilities of it kept me in my office the majority of the time, away from the schools and classrooms where the action I love takes place.

By contrast, my short six weeks of filling in on the communications front in the fall had invigorated me. I was energized by getting out on campuses to cover events and interfacing with teachers and staff to bring the great things happening in our schools to the attention of the public. It helped, too, that I received positive feedback about my efforts from fellow staff members. And when a couple of colleagues mentioned I seemed more upbeat than I had in a long time, it did make me start to wonder if it was time for me to take new steps in my professional life.

I am not a believer in coincidence. I prefer to call it "Godincidence," when the One who is watching over me and knows my heart far better than I do orchestrates circumstances to open a door I didn't even know I needed to have open, I'd be a fool not to walk through.

I know without a doubt that I made the right decision for this time and place. I am still struggling with one thing - not calling myself a teacher. Over the past few weeks I've met tons of new people and when they ask me what I do, I stumble a bit. Not because I don't know. But because with all my heart I am a teacher. It's the way God wired me.

When I was talking about this with a good friend recently, he reminded me I am still teaching. I'm teaching people about what's going on in their schools. And I went on to reflect on the fact that I will be mentoring colleagues, and maybe even students, in communication and the importance of sharing their ideas and learning and accomplishments online and establishing a positive digital presence.

I've also been discouraged with the way educators and public education have been portrayed by politicians and in the press in recent years. Now I am officially part of the group of professionals whose job it is to publicize the learning that takes place in our schools every day.

So for this season of my professional life, however long it may last, when I'm asked what I do, I will answer that I'm a Communications Specialist for a K-12 public school district in Texas, but my hard-wired vocation of Teacher will always be the driving force behind that official title. Always.

All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.