embracing change

I live in a beautiful mountain town which is currently being blanketed in another perfect winter storm. I got to spend Sun morning at Race178’s Run with the Girls in Reno with the awesome Girls on the Run team from Incline Elementary. After a successful 5k where our girls smiled, laughed, ran and celebrated their fall season, head coach Aly and I spent time with our favorite Smithridge GOTR coaches (all of them).

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After 3 years of teaching in my town at Incline Elementary, my low (lowest) seniority caught up with me and in 2010 I looked for a job over the pass down in Reno. Lucky for me, a former principal was going to lead a School Improvement Grant funded turnaround and had a position for me heading up the Response to Intervention efforts. Little did I know that I would be helping to grow a school culture focused on student achievement through collaboration and high expectations. I met some of the best teachers, nicest humans, and most generous friends at Smithridge. There was no doubt in my mind I would teach there forever.

And then Zack’s brain and blood decided to go haywire and I took a month leave. Then another month leave. Then a semester leave. And recently it became clear that it would be best if I stayed home longer so I submitted a request for another semester leave (the rest of this school year). Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would have so many dropins in such a short amount of time.

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Yesterday at lunch with friends from Incline Elementary and Smithridge STEM Academy, I finally said out loud to a group of colleagues I respect and trust that going back to Smithridge might not be in the cards. Being away from home for 10+ hours 5 days a week might be too much. It might be more logical to leave the school and administration I love working with. And once I said it out loud (first to a friend Saturday), friends and conversations flowed that opened up possibilities and allayed fears. Change is scary, but it can be good! We’ll see what lies ahead for me as an educator … there is so much possibility out there when you are open to change and are surrounded by caring friends.

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