I’m currently on my way home from the AP National Conference where I presented Friday and Saturday. This has been a bit of an emotional battle for me, as I can’t help but miss my dad, AP Teacher Extraordinaire… but if I’m being completely honest, I’ve missed him desperately for the last two months. As I mentioned last month, I had to make some really tough work decisions and I desperately missed my sounding board. Staff retreat didn’t end up the way I hoped it would and I feel like I’ve been in chaos and turmoil ever since. Summer is almost over, and I’m ashamed to admit how much I’ve cried the past few months.
I had not been to DC since I was in high school. The first time I went to DC, I fell in love with the city. I planned to become the first female president. I aspired to go to college in DC. I had big dreams. When we submitted this proposal, I was excited to come back to DC… but if I’m being totally honest, this administration has completely diminished my excitement for being back in my soul city. They have made so many terrible policy changes that adversely affect the work that I do and the students I serve.
That being said, Congressman Marc Veasey introduced legislation on Thursday that combats some of the problems that were covered in the article that Eric Hoover wrote about our students in the Chronicle last month. If you want an accurate picture of what my life looks like on a regular basis, read this.
We’ll see what happens with that, but I appreciate his willingness to work towards a solution.
By this time, we would have done principal’s presentation and I’d be waiting for a school list. Last Tuesday, I was notified that there won’t be a live principal’s presentation this year. I can submit 10 slides though. They are due on Tuesday. Principals will have a week to review and make a decision. I’ll get a school list in mid-August – the same day training is supposed to start.
I can’t even process that.
I am sure that I will rise to the occasion (I always do), but it feels like things just keep getting harder and harder as I get better and better. Just once I’d like to feel like the process is fair.
I’m a member of a professional group called Wonder Women. I’m fortunately to know many of these women in person, and I even get to present with some of them from time to time. This weekend, I went out to dinner with one of my fellow Wonder Women. I decided to tell her the truth about how I’ve been feeling lately, and she gave me a lot of really good advice. Some of the most salient takeaways were to stay true to myself – that our organization had not become what it was without my leadership for the kids. That I didn’t have to apologize to anyone because of the impact that I’ve been able to make – not only for our students but for all students on a national platform. Further, she reminded me that not everyone is going to be as good as I am at some things and I need to remember that. My high expectations for myself may not always translate in the same way – and that’s okay.
I presented with another Wonder Woman who works in a university admissions office that I strongly admire, and she talked to me about the importance of recognizing that people have to do what you ask them to when it comes to doing the work in equity and access. Not everything can (or will) receive an explanation or a vote. People need to take ownership of projects and get them done.
As I write this out, it doesn’t feel like it truly encapsulates the conversations, which were, admittedly, very nuanced. This Winston Churchill quote did echo in my head though.
The Wonder Women group has been a very free space for us to celebrate each other’s professional accomplishments, talk through the challenges we face, and be each other’s advocates and cheerleaders. If you don’t have a strong group of professional women to inspire you in your career (whatever it is – that includes you, SAHMs!!), I encourage you to find one. Finding role models, mentors, and colleagues has helped me not feel so alone in my professional endeavors, and I hope that everyone has that. I have role models and mentors outside my field as well. One can learn so much from successful women that we respect and/or admire.
I hope to be back in a real way in August. I’m going to spend the next day or two figuring out what my intention is for August. I definitely fell off that bandwagon in April, but I want to be back. I haven’t felt like myself in months, but I’m ready to get back to that girl. Glow worm and all.