20 Days ’til 40: Why I LOVE My Education Job

01 Feb


Today was one of those days….  I started the day with 58 emails in my inbox (a low number for me) and seemed to have an inordinate amount of complaints and issues arise throughout the day.  I answered email after email for most of the day, communicating with concerned parents and teachers re:a variety of issues.  I sent out at least 60 emails, maybe it was closer to 75 or 80, and at the end of the day my inbox still had 64 emails I need to respond to…. Yes I responded all day and the number grew!!!  I was, for lack of a better analogy, chained to my desk for hours as I assisted many with their concerns.  I definitely felt a bit more like a complaint department than an educator.  Of course, all I really wanted today was to be out in the classrooms and with the teachers and the students – these moments are sometimes hard to come by as an administrator – the tyranny of the urgent replaces the important as small fires of concern need to be extinguished (when I want to be out there helping to light fires of desire to learn!)

Yet, even in the midst of the pressures associated with trying to help people find common ground when frustrated, there were many gifts.  This morning as I stood in the office I got a running hug from a second grade student.  Moments later I touched base with one of our amazing seniors, I told her that I was looking forward to receiving her petition for our school board.  Hours later the student returned with a petition signed by over 70% of our student body – their request?  To finally name a school mascot – I LOVE it!!!  I was so excited to share this with our school board.  I then found out another senior got his first college acceptance (it is still very early in the season).  He was THRILLED and seeing the smile on his face, knowing how hard he works for himself is amazing.  Two staff members shared personal issues that I said I understood – I appreciate being able to be an administrator that understands.  They appreciate that I want them to take care of themselves and model a healthy work/ life balance.  As the day wore on I got a bit mischievous   My secretary and I have now worked together for almost four years – we are able to find a balance and rhythm that works well for the office and school.  She is young, but mature, and has a lot of energy.  She also happens to scare easily and I have been known to pull a prank or two (yes, a very mature school leader!  I always wait until the kids and parents are gone!)  Today I took the scraps from our hole puncher (okay, from SEVERAL hole punchers) and I slowly opened the window that is between our offices.  I threw the scraps at her and yelled “It’s snowing!!!” and got a rather loud scream….. followed by laughter (thankfully).  I am definitely NOT a stuffy boss.  If a future prospective employer were to want a well-mannered straight laced person with business suits, high heels and poise, I would not be the person for the job.  However, if they wanted someone honest, fun, hard-working and supportive, I am that person.

So, why do I love education so much, in spite of all the headaches that come along with it?

  • hugs from students
  • appreciative parents
  • smiles when students learn something new
  • chocolate handshakes and sticky fingerprints on my clothing
  • responsible teens turning into amazing young adults
  • smiles and laughter
  • love of learning
  • challenging myself and the students to grow
  • supportive staff members

If it were not so late at night and I were not falling asleep from the day I could write many more reasons I love my job.  I feel honored to work with our parents, students and teachers – even on the more challenging days – the challenges are often the best vehicles for my own growth and development as an administrator.

Today, 20 days ’til 40, I will continually seek balance in my position and when things get rough I will strive to remind myself that we are all human and ultimately all have the same desire at heart – to see our children happy, healthy, and succeeding,




Tags: , , , , ,

37 responses to “20 Days ’til 40: Why I LOVE My Education Job

  1. Gretchen

    February 1, 2013 at 00:41

    I’m dying to know where you work. I absolutely love your honesty and stories. Still giggling over the skirt catching on your shoes and going around your knees – I’ve had a skirt like that and it’s happened to me too! Anyway – you sound like you are in a great place and you are really making a difference. I’m an educator too and understand your struggles somewhat. Keep up the great work.

    • 400daystil40

      February 2, 2013 at 00:35

      hehehe! Yes, I was very embarrassed over my skirt! I am lucky, I work in a great community!

  2. Toni

    February 1, 2013 at 01:28

    I loved this. I taught Middle School for just a few years, but loved days like this. I’m with you, fun and hard work can go hand in hand! So glad there are people like you out there with our kids!

  3. A Table in the Sun

    February 1, 2013 at 03:41

    It’s nice to step back like this and appreciate the small things. Sharing your thoughts with the rest of us is sure to double your satisfaction!

    • 400daystil40

      February 2, 2013 at 00:34

      Yes, it really is – and thank you!

  4. jcmarckx2009

    February 1, 2013 at 05:01

    I would agree with your entire list except that I would add that I love my job in education so much because I get to watch the kids grow up. I know you touched on that with “responsible teens turning into amazing young adults”, but I love seeing Middle School or High School students that I taught in grade school!

    • 400daystil40

      February 2, 2013 at 00:34

      Ah, yes, such a great point! Particularly with the middle school kids. What an age – they are having very adult conversations one moment and sliding across the floor on their stomachs the next moment! 🙂

  5. deWriterMD

    February 1, 2013 at 05:25

    Reblogged this on MetaRead360 Small Press presents and commented:
    My sister’s a teacher too and love it!

  6. nkimagecollection

    February 1, 2013 at 07:08

    Lovely post! The world needs more educators like you!

  7. Another Thousand Words

    February 1, 2013 at 13:56

    Those ‘little things’ are so very important, 400, as they enrich our lives with the most wonderful memories! To have a seven year old run up and hug you must have been the greatest feeling for you…it’s wonderful that you exude the attitude of being ‘approachable’ to the children, and they know you understand their world!

    • 400daystil40

      February 2, 2013 at 00:33

      The little things are amazing – thank you so much!

      • Another Thousand Words

        February 2, 2013 at 01:16

        No, no, 400–thank you for sharing what a great educator (and mind!) you are! It is so very important, today, that children can connect with their teacher as, often, there may be no one at home with which to do so. I firmly believe if a child is ‘happy’ at school, he/she will spread that happiness among those around her/him! And, oh, what results from something as wonderful as that?

  8. nell

    February 1, 2013 at 20:43

    My husband is an educator and he loves his job too. Great post!

  9. thelastsongiheard

    February 2, 2013 at 06:59

    We need more educators like you… especially here in Louisville with the horrific Jefferson County Public School system… but then, I wouldn’t wish that on you either LOL

    • 400daystil40

      February 2, 2013 at 23:30

      Thanks so much! I have relatives in Louisville! In fact, I almost moved there about ten years ago!

      • thelastsongiheard

        February 3, 2013 at 00:03

        That’s cool 🙂 I don’t mind the city itself, but my wife home schools because our son has some special needs and JCPS just wouldn’t be good for him.

        There are two things people hate here, without exception – the local company’s billing department and JCPS…

  10. walkwiththerabbi

    February 3, 2013 at 03:09

    The world is SO fortunate to have you in it! You ARE a difference maker! You may never know “on this side,” the enormity of what you have set in motion. I appreciate your heart SO MUCH!

  11. pradsword

    February 4, 2013 at 08:45

    Loved this post. You make it sound like the best job in the world, though I am sure, it comes with as many pains as the pleasures 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      February 4, 2013 at 23:29

      Yes, there are never dull moments in education!

  12. rbcantwell

    February 6, 2013 at 21:11

    This sounds so much like my mother! She’s a high school principal but taught for nearly 20 years prior to her administrative job. I always feel bad for her when she says, “I ONLY have 364 emails to answer tonight instead of 1276!” She misses the classroom but loves the opportunities she has as an administrator. Nice blog!!

    • 400daystil40

      February 6, 2013 at 23:24

      Ah yes, we principals have a lot in common! 🙂

  13. sonworshiper

    February 8, 2013 at 00:25

    Fantastic piece. I had to do a “Why I Love the Air Force” blog because I found myself getting caught up in similar frustrations. Thank you for all you’re doing for the next generation.

  14. Lela Bonchjela

    February 10, 2013 at 22:44

    I so need this. Hey may I ask, you’re a principal aren’t you?

    • 400daystil40

      February 10, 2013 at 23:03

      Yes, guilty as charged. 🙂

      • Lela Bonchjela

        February 11, 2013 at 13:58

        Ahh I see…

      • Lela Bonchjela

        February 11, 2013 at 18:23

        Wow since when? Normally the principals in my country are 40-50! The one and only youngest principal is a lady, in her mid 30s, which is pretty impossible!

        • 400daystil40

          February 11, 2013 at 22:41

          This is my fourth year as a full-time principal. Though, in my mid-twenties I was a principal for six months when I filled in for someone who was having family issues.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: