A view from the top

So this week was full of ups and downs. I had started the week off knowing that I had an interview for a position of Vice Principal at my Junior/Senior High School. I was not telling anyone that I had the interview because I was certain that I would not get the job. As the day arrived people started coming up to wish me luck and tell me I would be great at the position and all these really nice things. The question I had was how people knew that I had the interview in the first place. Turns out someone saw a list and decide to share with everyone.

So now that my future failure was on everyones radar I decided to focus on the task. We all should hopefully have goals. Mine was to use this moment to share my vision. I have spent the last six years really focused on literacy work and trying to transform my teaching. As I reflected on what I would love to see in a school as part of a leadership team I thought about 3 key things.

  1. Pedagogy- How are we as a staff teaching? What message is it sending?
  2. Instructional Leadership- What am I doing to help with part one? How am I helping my fellow teachers to stretch?
  3. The PLAN- What is the big picture? 5 years-10 years where do I see the school and my role in it?

With these in mind I felt ready. I had my answers, I knew what I wanted to talk about and set out for destiny haha (fully knowing it was a one in a million shot)

The interview came and the questions reflected, for the most part the work I am doing. The interview ended with 3 questions.

What is your biggest failure?

What is your biggest success?

Why do you want to be VP?

I was not ready for these questions and as I reflected on the first one I remembered something that really hit an emotional nerve. A student I felt I had failed, a victim of bullying I could not save, despite my efforts and I broke down as I tried to talk about it. Recovery did not come in the next two questions as I continued to reflect on success being those connections with my students and the all important why…to protect them, to help them because I love my community and the school.

I left the interview, during it I quoted a piece from Gravity Goldbergs “Teach Like Yourself” in which she discusses her fears.

I was not afraid going high, I was afraid of falling.

Paraphrased as I don’t have the book sitting beside me šŸ™‚

I realized leaving that interview that I felt the same way. I had no fear of the interview, I was ready, I love the school, community and students and I know that every day I do my best for them. I knew that I would continue to do that regardless of the position but I had been brave, I put it all out on the table and now was the time to wait.

I received a call later telling me that I was not the successful candidate. Two other teachers of whom I respect got the positions. I am happy for them, sad for me, but that is how it goes. It is tough reflecting and second guessing the why when you are not the successful candidate. Could I have answered something better, was my emotional reaction to a question that hit me “right in the feels” too much? Did I not present myself as the leader I feel I am? Did I buy into my hype too much?

These thoughts are going to be with me for a while. I don’t know if I will take this chance again. The fall is seemingly too far this week. The view from the top, all the possibilities were exciting. That vision for a plan may be on hold. But what I do know is the work continues, I have had amazing days in my classroom with my students because they are my focus.

Change happens. But constants remain true. We do the work for the kids, we climb new mountains and we learn not to be so afraid of the fall.

Total side note if you are not following the #31DaysIBPOC on Twitter do yourselves a favour and check it out. It is the lift we need right now.

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One thought on “A view from the top

  1. You would be excellent at any position you were given working with children. When I first started reading your blog, I though, oh no! He needs to be on the base line with kids. He is so talented with them. Never feel you are a failure, Brent, in not being successful at another job opportunity. But recognize where do I really want to be; where are my talents and abilities; where can I benefit my school in the best way. If you feel it is administration, then keep working toward that goal. If it is to be on the ground level changing student’s lives, so be it. You are so incredibly gifted and still young. There will be other opportunities!

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