The Power of Community
Hello, Blogosphere!!! It’s been almost a half year since the last blog post. Things have gotten a bit crazy in my life and the blog had to take a back seat for a bit. Quick update on what One Innovative Educator has been up to.
I am in my first year as Chief Academic Officer in a school district in the Houston area. In this role, I am responsible for five departments (Special Education Dept., Multi-Lingual Dept., Research, PEIMS, & Accountability Dept., Innovative Programs Dept., and Dept. of Federal Grants & Programs), the entire C&I department, and campus principals. Any position in year one takes much more focus than your previous position. Needless to say, much of my time has been devoted to learning the job and striving for excellence in academics in my district.
Last year, One Innovative Educator blossomed. I held several training sessions on how to properly prepare for the job market. I had no idea this service would take off! My first client for personal coaching was a nursing student. Remember, I work in education, not the medical field. I had to earn the field of nursing and how they interview and then coach the recent nursing college graduate on how to rock the interview process. After several personal coaching sessions, my first client landed her first job… her dream job… at Texas Children’s Hospital!
I held other coaching sessions as well… some personal, some small group. It was such a whirlwind, I was not good with keeping up my productivity, but I can say with confidence that the majority of my clients landed the promotion they were working toward.
The consultant business taking off is probably the accomplishment of which I am most proud of in 2019. It taught me so much about myself and about my God. It has really been a dream come true for me to coach others in their professional pursuits.
I have been busy keeping up with my two boys. My oldest is a college athlete. I have racked up thousands of miles traveling to watch him play football (and now college track). My youngest is a high school senior. I’ve spent time trying to support him in finishing strong while determining which direction he’ll take for his post-high school career. Oh, yeah… and don’t forget fitting the hubby in the mix as well.
As you can see, I’ve been a little busy, but I am committed this year to bring my OneInEd blog back. I welcome you guys to join the ride. This first blog is about the power of community.
About two weeks ago, I attended two professional conferences. In both of them, I can say I was truly invigorated. Being in the company of other educators who are just as passion as you can re-ignite a fire that can keep you moving in the right direction. Read below for how I was affected by each conference.
Texas Council of Women School Executives
This was my first year to attend this conference. I was invigorated by the awesome women leaders in education and how they are blazing the very trail I am on. They spoke candidly about their fears… and how they overcame them.
I loved how the organization began the session by spending time with those who were attending for the first time. I also thought it was phenomenal how they took time to incorporate sessions to help leaders in each area… aspiring assistant principals, aspiring principals, aspiring central office leaders, and aspiring superintendent. I don’t think I’ve ever attended a conference where regular sessions were offered to prepare educators for their next career move. This was truly a conference focused on personal/profession growth.
Texas Association of School Administrators (Mid-Winter)
This was the more traditional conference, but full of great sessions. What I love about Mid-Winter is that you have the opportunity to hear from school district central office leaders from around the state on what they are doing successfully in their districts. Education is a complicated profession that is full of challenges. It’s common practice to “steal” in education. From the time we step into the classroom until we retire, we are constantly learning from each other. This conference offers the opportunity to do just that… learn from others around the state in how they are supporting students as they reach their academic excellence.
The biggest lesson I learned from the week is the power of community. Whatever your profession, I highly recommend you join an organization specific to your field. Get out there and learn from others in the field. Meet others who you can chat with and exchange ideas. The power of community… priceless!
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.