66% complete

Monday was the final class of School Law. Saturday is the final class of seminar. When that is over, I will only have one semester left – 7 credits! – until my principal license is finished. Here’s what this reeeeeally means:

In March, there will be two assistant principal positions open at my school, either of which I would be more than qualified to be hired for. I am doing everything in my power to set myself up to be the obvious choice. March. Three months from now. And I’m not really sure what I should do.

For context, let me explain that I’m not the type to fail. I think that has less to do with my amazing skills and more to do with my decision making ability. I don’t put myself in situations where I will not succeed. As I write that, I feel like a coward, but I want you to understand that I’m not afraid of failure, I’m just smart enough to avoid it. I still take chances. I still do things that challenge me. I am not afraid of being a principal. I KNOW that I can do it. I know that I SHOULD do it. I believe that I am the type of person who needs to be in those offices – I care about kids. I want them to be successful. I care about teachers. I want them to be at their best.

I have what it takes to do this job.

But…

I have a husband. I have made a commitment to another child. I know that I cannot fully commit to being a principal and being the mom of a newborn. When my fellow intern asked our principal what he needed to be successful, she told him, “you need to make more sacrifice in terms of time with your family.” I have never been one to be concerned about this work-home balance – I mean, I went back to work when my oldest was a week old, and Ryan’s been in daycare since she was three months old.

However, one of the things I’ve learned in my program is that administrators are somehow supposed to be more committed. We are supposed to spend an insane amount hours at the job (hey, it’s why we make the big bucks!). You might have noticed that most women administrators are the parents of nearly-grown children. Only young men seem to enter this field…you know, because they don’t have to worry about the dreaded work-home debate. I can’t talk to my principal, because if she knows I’m thinking about more kids, she will remember that. To be fair, I currently spend more hours at school than any other teacher. I’m second in time spent in the building only to the administrators. The extra contract means I go three weeks after school is out and I report three weeks before it begins. Quite honestly, this isn’t much different than what I’ve always done and continue to do. So why am I worried?

Because I wouldn’t hire a pregnant me. I wouldn’t hire a me with a newborn. I wouldn’t put much faith in a first-year administrator on a hormonal roller coaster. I would doubt my commitment to the job, even though I have bled black and green for the last 4.5 years. Trying to reconcile the commitment I’ve made to my husband with the commitment I’ve made to myself has become one of the central issues in my life. On one hand, I *do* want another baby (note: I don’t actually want to be pregnant, just another baby ๐Ÿ™‚ ), but on the other hand, I want to provide for my family in a way we would otherwise never know. Over here is the thought of bringing another loved, beautiful, perfect (and well-reared! yay!) child into this world, and over there is professional improvement and success.

I am truly struggling with this. And I have three months to figure it out.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m not sure I have any advice to give you about what is the best choice…because you’ve already decided–you want both things just as much. Knowing how strong you and J are, there’s no doubt that you’ll figure out how to balance everything. And really, hormones are just a cop-out I think, so you totally handle be pg and working your first year as an AP. You are my inspiration, buddy! I’d tell you to just let things happen as they happen, but I know that won’t stop you from thinking about these things for the next few months. I’m here if you need me!

  2. Two things came to mind while reading this. First, is it possible to call another school, even somewhere else and ask any questions of that principal? The second thought is something you probably already know. I’ve learned that you can’t plan on things that “might” happen. While the baby is a possibility, the opportunity for administration is right here in front of you. If both happen, then I know you can make it work. You strike me as such a leader. This could be your opportunity to show other women that it can be done. I hope that makes sense… coming from a gal whose little one was up at 3 this morning ๐Ÿ™‚


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