Well - that's that then. My last day as a school Principal was last Friday and now I'm no longer in lame duck-ville, more in limbo land before my new role as a leadership adviser kicks in. My family and I fly out to Qatar on Wednesday so this will be my last posting before I arrive and get established.
Friday was a surreal experience. It's very sobering leaving a job - handing in the keys, giving back a computer, cleaning out personal material, taking the pictures off the wall (and my Star Wars clock), waving goodbye to workmates and turning the light off on three years as Principal. It's a lot like leaving home - you can't go back and help yourself to the refrigerator like you used to.
I'll miss a few things for sure - the great people I worked closely with on a daily basis in the front office - my first visitor of the day (Di Di), early cup of tea from Ina and Suzie reminding me about Chelsea's success, will be one. The students will definitely be another - as I was loading up the car a number of them wanted to shake my hand, wish me well and yell 'good luck'. I loved teaching them and leading them to believe in themselves and dream big. I also appreciated the warm, positive comments from a lot of the staff and the Board of Trustees and the large number who attended my farewell morning tea.
What I won't miss is all of the petty small stuff that a number of staff cling to. Petty jealousies and juvenile attitudes (the 'I'll hold my breath till I get my own way' brigade) and private agendas that don't have the students' best interests at heart - all can wear down positivity. It's a real pity and something that is a feature of a staffroom that has developed an 'us and them' set of attitudes over time. That scenario becomes a sap on energy levels and rather than deal with important things, too often attention is on the nitty gritty of repairing relationships and putting out fires.
I hope the staff at Stratford High School can embrace a new leader and give them a chance. I hope they can. Anyway - I'm on to newer and exciting things and I'm looking forward to what is around the corner. I am sure it will challenge me in new ways. Should be an interesting time in 2010. Stay posted!!