“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…” -Teddy Roosevelt
I began teaching 36 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West Indies. Those years on the tiny island nation of St. Kitts were a catalyst for a fun and rewarding career. I am grateful to the students, families, staff, and colleagues I have known over the years. I have learned so much from everyone.
I’m retiring at the end of this month. I will not be leaving the profession, although I am hoping to get some rest in July. In August, I will take over as the Executive Director of MAESP. I am excited about this opportunity and hope my colleagues will be active in attending and presenting at local, state, and national conferences. The Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals needs your involvement.
Being a principal is hard and is not getting any easier. Hope, however, is not lost. It is not lost because there are still so many passionate school leaders who go to work every day with a singular focus on doing what is right for children. No one knows your school better than you. You are the men and women in the arena. While there are many critics outside the school building, you are the ones who know what is best for your schools. Never let anyone try to define you or your school unless they are willing to get in the arena with you.
Five things I am looking forward to:
- More time for myself
- More time with my family
- Less emails to read
- More books to read
- Supporting school leaders in my new role
I am leaving the role of elementary principal behind, but it will never leave me. It has been my identity for the past 18 years. I am letting it go with a little trepidation, but mostly with excitement about what’s to come. It’s time to reinvent myself. Let’s go!