This blogging practice has disappeared for me. G-Town Talks has been languishing out here, waiting for my return and I just don’t see it coming. I’ve thought a lot and can’t honestly say why I’m blocked from a practice that was so positively rewarding for me.
I feel as though I should just take all the posts and readers’ comments and put them together in a book titled “High School: A Principal’s Perspective” and call it a day. I loved blogging and everything about it. Writing down my thoughts about our students, learning, school management, and G-Town was absolutely ingrained in my day. Reading other blogs, looking forward to the comments left on this one, and thinking out loud were incredible for me. Heck, we even got some national attention with a couple of articles and interest from CBS Evening News that never panned out. And now it’s all gone.
The reason I’m stuck seems easy to trace to my movement from high school principal to assistant superintendent. I could write that I’m too busy now or that the things I’m involved in aren’t “blog worthy”. But none of that is true.
The truth is that this blog and the writing I did was focused on our kids. Our experiences together, our growth, our change, our learning. It was about my experiences as a principal and that wasn’t just a job for me. It was the biggest and best part of me. It was the one thing in my entire life that I’ve been really good at–and I underestimated how much I enjoyed the day to day management of the school. I blogged because I had much to say about a job, about a school life, that I couldn’t get out of my head.
I didn’t know myself well enough to realize that the reason I was a good principal is that I took it all personally–the relationship building with kids and teachers and parents, the problem solving, the success and failure. I wanted our kids to succeed as much as or more than anyone else there and I wasn’t afraid to show that to anyone. I simply loved going to work every day, loved the people I was with all day and gained enormously from our kids–in my school.
My brother claims that loving your job like that is unusual and not something I should take for granted. He doesn’t know many people who feel that way and says it’s worth a lot more than money or status or more responsibility. Maybe I was doing exactly the thing I was meant to do in this world.
My new job is focused on teachers, on curriculum and instruction. On improving things for kids, meeting the standards set for adequate yearly progress and beyond, staff development, and on important components like reading, formative assessments, and curriculum design. I’m in the classrooms and at meetings and attending conferences. The work is important and offers an opportunity to make real change. It’s a challenging job focused on improvement that stands to have a powerful impact on our kids. Most administrators would jump at the chance to focus sustained attention on these efforts, without the worries of the day to day operations of the school. I should be deliriously happy. Trouble is that it turns out the day to day operations are exactly what I wrote about here and are exactly what I was most passionate about in my job.
I’m glad I had the chance to learn here and I’m grateful for every comment left–thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Readers!
Maybe when I find my way back to the kids I’ll find my voice again. Until then, G-Town Talks will be keeping quiet.
Kim, best of luck in the new administrative position. Just wanted to say thank you so much for being a risk taker by blogging as a principal. Your voice was heard loudly and clearly, and you have inspired many, many others with your heartfelt messages. I appreciate how reflective and insightful you are with the issues you touched upon related to students’ lives and school improvement challenges. Keep working hard in your newest role.
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To all those who lamented the shut down of Kim’s blog, allow me to share the following. KM is alive and well in her new position as Gowanda’s Assistant Superintendent. She still commands attention, speaks with torrents of emotion, pushes the boundaries and makes you shake and shiver if you drop the ball. I ought to know, I am her boss (or pretend to be).
Although she is blog quiet, I still believe making her the assistant was the best thing we could have done for our kids here in Gowanda. True leaders make a natural progression from intimate to universal. KM has now progressed from influencing hundreds of students to making a profound impression on thousands over the course of her professional life. We desparately needed someone to coach principals and teachers, coordinate our instructional plan, and push all of us to new heights. KM fills this role and more.
I predict KM will be back. In fact, she has already found a new venue for her comments. One need only visit the GCS webpage to witness the VOICE is still healthy and wise.
I felt as this was my way to stay connected with the school while I’m two hours away at college. I’m sad to know this is over 🙁
Maybe you should point out your successes to the new principal and encourage them to continue your practice. This may be valuable to him in familiarizing himself with the opinions and ideas of the community(local and world wide), thus making him a more effective administrator.
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I think that keeping the energy up to blog for any number of reasons is tough. Mine waxes and wanes as well. I also find that it’s hard to keep finding things to write about that a) are tackleable in less than 5,000 words, and b) are things we can publicly write about.
So I will miss your voice, wish you well in the new position, and, like Will, keep the RSS feed subscribed. 🙂
Kim, Kim, Kim…….
I should come over and shake you!! You are a gifted administrator. You are talented, innovative and extremely intelligent. As a change agent in your district, there is so much you have to offer the education community. It’s just at a different level. Your experiences as a high school principal helped mold who you are. It is not a definitive end. It is a foundation that you will use for years to come. As an assistant superintendent, you will use your experiences as a change agent, instructional leader and innovator. YOU HAVE A LOT TO OFFER so many administrators. Do not silence yourself. For the sake of your fans and the future leaders in education, please continue to post. Your absence will create a void.
Have enjoyed reading your thoughts over the last little while Kimberly. Wish you all the best in your new role. Be sure to let us know if you do start up the blogging again – be it here or elsewhere.
I’m a little late to this commenting party – but I wanted you to know that I know what you’re going through. When I left the classroom, going to work for my school district, something changed. I don’t know quite what it was, but I think the student piece is a big chunk of it. Whatever it is, I think I’m trying to write through the blocks and stick with the blog. What was good practice for a teacher is good practice for a district technology trainer. So, too, in your case – what was good practice for a principal was and is good practice for a district assistant superintendent. I’m sure there’re added politics and other limitations in your new position that limit what you say and how you say it – I hope that you are able to work through those and share what you can when you can.
I’ve got to believe there’s value in blogging from a district position. I hope you do, eventually.
Ironically, I just used your blog in a workshop about principals two days ago!
I understand that the mood shifts or that it’s harder to write, but I hope that you may consider keeping this blog as a place to reflect on your journey.
It sounds like you are really missing your former role, and the passion you had for it, and that’s what propelled your writing.
I too, plan to keep this in my bloglines in the hopes of hearing from you again.
It’s not just the blog really–it’s that you are now part of our network and community, and many of us feel connected to you because of that. So we aren’t just losing your blog, but we’re losing a connection.
Hope that you find your way in a way that works for you, and that you know there is a network out there for you as well.
best wishes, Carolyn
I believe you have had more of an impact than you know. I have used your blog as a great example for how educational leaders can participate in blogging and gain real meaning from it. I’m with Will and many others that have commented. I will not be unsubscribing.
Best of luck, I hope you find that feeling you described in your new role.
As I look forward to retirement and a new career, I struggle with the same issues you are facing: once I’m no longer directly interacting with students, how do I find, alter, rework my focus?
Don’t forget that many of your readers are teachers who would welcome your insights. Couldn’t we/they become your new “kids”?
Not all learners are young in age, just young in spirit!
I understand your thoughts and feelings. I also changed positions this year taking me away from students to focus on teachers and their practice. It has been difficult to find a moment to blog. It’s like exercise. Your can build your routine for months and that one week off can ruin your drive. Honestly if I did publish my thoughts and feelings on a regular basis they would be pretty negative right now. I don’t think I would have many readers for long, but I digress.
I was writing constantly when I had something that I thought was valuable and positive to say and maybe were both missing the point. Maybe it doesn’t have to be anything lengthy and profound. Maybe it can just be a glimpse into the situation we find ourselves in. I admit I never read your work until someone said you stopped. That is what attracted me. I stopped, I wonder why others do too. After reading a few posts I agree with your supporters. You have a valuable opinion and a great voice. I am positive you’ll be back.
Do keep the blog going. I’m an Assistant to Head of School in an international school for the past 2 years now, also suffering from the ‘where are all of the kids’ syndrome. I’ve come to realize that I’m still deeply to committed to kids, but in a different way. Instead of working WITH kids, I now come to work each day FOR kids. Same goal, different approach. Keep up the important work, and, of course, the sharing.
This is a big bummer.
You know, there’s a real hole in the blogosphere regarding the voice of assistant superintendents. You could help fill it. You’re still doing meaningful work, just at a different level. I get the “I’m not with kids anymore” feeling. I felt the same ache as I transitioned from teacher to graduate student to professor. Eventually I figured out what my new place was in the grand scheme of things and am happy with my new, but different, way of helping kids and educators.
Hope to see you come back. We have a lot to learn from you.
Really going to miss your voice Kim, but I totally understand. We grow, we change, and I admire your honest assessment of where you’re at with all of it. Just FYI, however, I’m not unsubscribing… ;0)
Well said. I, like Dave, am bummed that your blogging doesn’t seem to be the tool for you as it was before. You sparked our thinking in so many ways. You are an inspirational leader, and I am thinking that once you find your niche in your new position, you will find the blogger in you once again.
I am not sure if this makes sense, but I feel that your position is just too new. (How many years were you a principal before you blogged?) You are learning to be an Assistant Superintendent and all that it entails. In spite of what people believe, transitioning within a building or in and out of the roles of administration is not easy.
I was a Director of Staff Development in a position for a few years and was responsible for so many things in curriculum, instruction and assessment. Now I have moved to a new district as a Director, and I feel like I am starting all over again. Everything I knew about curriculum, instruction and assessment doesn’t seem to matter at times. There isn’t so much for me to blog about yet as I am asking questions, learning the culture of a new position, and hanging on as I journey through this first year. (Yes, I know that would be worthy to write about sometimes.) I am making my own connections, but certainly I keep coming up with more questions and never really feel like I can create a thoughtful paragraph or two that would be of interest to others. I am taking the time now to talk with others, gathering ideas and forming my own thoughts and beliefs about working within a district in my role.
I used to participate in several blogs, but now I read a few and respond to even fewer. When I read, I have questions, not responses. Reading blogs is still fabulous for my learning. Writing is not helping me right now. I am cautious how I use the blog as there are forums for questions and then there are forums for questions with reasoning and thoughts and opinions behind them. I, for now, have mostly questions. I am still trying to find the niche and with that, will come the ease of writing about my craft.
You, too, are asking more questions than you have answers. Reach out to other Assistant Superintendents and soon your voice will return.
Until then, you will be missed.
I respect you for your honest feelings and opinions, but I have to admit that I am a little bummed out. I really liked reading your blog. I would be interested in reading about your new perspective in the district office. How is it different from the principalship? How is it the same? Where can you have an impact on student learning? Many of us principals will end up there, and I would enjoy reading your thoughts.
Is it my imagination or are a lot of the “principal bloggers’ from the last year or so losing their enthusiasm for blogging? It seems as if hardly anyone is writing in their blogs anymore. Did the fascination with a new toy wear off? If that is the case, then how will the Read/Write web ever truly make a difference or change the way we teach?
From beginning to end you gave us a perspective on education and a look into your heart, intertwining the two with poetic grace.
Your edublog certainly won’t be going anywhere so come back whenever you like 🙂
You are awesome, Kimberly. Hang in there, take some time off, and maybe we will see you around again sometime. Keep up the great work doing good things for schools and kids.
Thanks for all you wrote. And what you say, what your brother said, makes sense.
Best of luck!
ps, when I got here via Google Reader, I found the comment form prepopulated by Hugh xxxxxxx aka Rxxxxxxxxx, with an e-mail address and a webpage… don’t know if that’s something you control.
Kimberley, thank you the straight scoop.
It’s your blog, and I hope you will leave it in place in case you want to come back to it. I’ll leave it on my blogroll and check back from time to time. Why? Because your voice is a voice I wish I could hear from every school in my district. To a board member in any school district, you’re a spiritual role model for building and district administrators.
If you feel the need for a blogging hiatus, permanent or temporary, go for it. Don’t bend to the pressure of well-meaning readers who insist you hang on. That wouldn’t be real, would it?
If you ever begin a new blog, be sure to announce it here!
I’ve enjoyed what you have to say, and would value keeping in touch by email. Lots of good stuff is happening out here.
BTW, my blog is no longer anonymous.