A Bit of a Goodbye
After 20 years in my current district, it is time to say goodbye. It’s not really a goodbye though. Even though we will not be seeing one other at district meetings, we will continue to visit, exchange emails, vox each other, talk on Facebook, and inspire each other on Twitter. We will continue to seek advice and provide support and guidance. Yes, we will be in different districts so there will be different district policies and different ways-of-doing-things, however, we will continue to support one another in our roles as teachers and administrators.
Before I say goodbye, I would like to share a bit about my journey in Surrey Schools.
A Bit of My History in Surrey Schools
During the past 20 years, I had the opportunity to teach Grade K-12 and work as an elementary school vice-principal. For the first couple of years teaching (starting in 1995), I worked as a Teacher-On-Call until I received my first long-term assignment teaching Grade 1. I worked for approximately 10 years with Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students. Then, after 10 years of teaching, I had my first child.
While on maternity leave (2 weeks after having my first-born), I had an interview for vice-principalship in my current district (February, 2005). Surprisingly, even with the lack of sleep, I was successful in the interview and came back to work early from maternity leave to start my position as vice-principal at Don Christian Elementary in July, 2008. During my 2 1/2 years at Don Christian I also taught Grade 2/3, Grade 6 and Learning Support.
In January, 2008, I went on maternity leave again and had my second child. When I returned to work in July, 2008, I was placed as a vice-principal at Bonaccord Elementary. My teaching assignment was Learning Support for our struggling learners. After 2 1/2 years, I went on maternity leave again and in late December, 2010, I had my last child. Subsequently, after 6 months leave, I returned to work to become the vice-principal at Bear Creek Elementary. My teaching assignments there included (in addition to my vice-principal role): Early Literacy Teacher, Intermediate prep teacher, Learning Support and Integration Support.
A Bit of a Reflection
My time at each of these schools provided me with different connections and learning opportunities. Bear Creek, however, was probably the most influential on myself as a person. It was during my time at Bear Creek where I connected with our inner city students. This was when I truly began to accept my own journey as a child raised in an impoverished environment. During my 3 1/2 years at Bear Creek, I went through a real journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. I also learned to value my role as advocate for those kids who people would say “had no hope”. I was proof that this was not the case. It was through my time at Bear Creek that I learned to have more self-acceptance, and thus, begin to be more verbal on my own experiences.
I will always be grateful for all the students, parents, staff, and admin partners I had at Bear Creek. They pushed me to be vulnerable. They pushed me towards self-acceptance. They pushed me to speak out. They probably don’t truly understand how important they are in my own personal and professional journey. But, they are a huge piece of who I am today and who I will continue to grown into in the future. And for that, I am forever grateful.
I would like to pass along thanks to all the students, parents, staff, supportive community members, and fellow admin whom I have come to know and care for during my time with Surrey Schools. The lessons you have taught me are numerous. I wish you all well as you continue on your own journey. I know that we will continue to keep in touch, share, and grow together.
Thank you all.