December 31, 2011
2011 was certainly a big year for me. A year of much learning and growth, of change and challenge, and new beginnings. When a new year begins you don’t always know what it will bring you. It could be filled with highs, lows and everything in between. My year began with not quite the high I would have liked but it certainly evolved into a very rewarding and productive one.
It began with a tooth ache and sleep dentistry.! This was to be the beginning of a two and a half year stint with braces. I have now had mine for 9 months. This certainly was not in my plans for 2011!
My school year began on an interesting note as well. I returned to work, as usual mid January, only to receive notification that my upcoming operation (a follow up from the year before) was to be scheduled at the end on January, the day before the teachers started back at work. Five weeks later I was back at work and trying to work out what new plans and decisions had been made, as well as where my new office was!
Whilst on leave I found out that my application for my Masters In School Leadership was accepted. This meant I would be going back to uni after nearly 25 years! Doing my masters was something I had thought about for quite some time, but the timing hadn’t been right before. Having children, a home extension and new jobs, didn’t allow much time, physical space or head space for study. I am half way through my studies now and have thoroughly enjoyed everything I have learned and the challenge it has brought me. I recommend it to anyone thinking of doing their masters in the future.
At about the same time I also found out that I was successful in my application as an Apple Distinguished Educator. Once again it was something I had considered applying for in the past but wasn’t quite sure of the process. This year I did apply and was pleased to be chosen amongst many other applicants. As a leader, I know my influence has been strong in many aspects of ICT but also in good education. Much of this has included the use of Apple products and pedagogy.
By this stage I was into my second term of the year. I had been at Manor Lakes College for just over two years and my role was constantly evolving and taking shape. The college was growing bigger and bigger with over 50 classes and well over 100 staff members. We grew to seven assistant principals and we were heading towards our senior years, with year 10 beginning in 2012. I became more interested in my own principalship and began applying for positions.
By mid year I had begun at Debney Meadows Primary School as the new substantive principal. This was a time of excitement, apprehension and a huge learning curve. I have now been a principal for 6 months and would not look back. It is rewarding, exciting and challenging every day. I am more connected to my students now and feel that I can make a difference. For someone who likes to continue to grow, this has been perfect for me.
Amongst the busyness and the craziness of the year I have also continued my interests in the ICTEV as the council secretary. This interest also led me to being nominated to be on the ACARA technologies advisory panel. So amongst trying to study, learn how to be a new principal, I also needed to focus and advise on the new Australian Curriculum. I must admit, this did challenge me to find the necessary time. The advisory group is a well rounded group of people with loads of knowledge and experience in curriculum.
Both professionally and personally I have grown in 2011. My year has been a bit like being on a fast train ride, trying not to miss all the stops and all the scenery. I’m not sure how well I have achieved everything this year, but I know that I have got through to the end smiling