The demands of school life are endless- regardless of your role within the institution. Working in schools is meaningful and inspiring. It can also be exhausting with countless hours invested outside of the academic day. Responsibilities are regularly added to our plates and 'other duties as assigned' can be tough to swallow.
Because many students will not fully realize the impact you have had on their lives until later in life, this can feel like a thankless job. The truth is you are shaping minds and changing lives every day.
Bringing over 20 years of experience and insight, together we can change the direction of your school.
It begins with courageous action to engage in this conversation- moving it from chats at meals and in between classes to a community-wide dialogue about school culture and the unspoken core values that foster exhaustion, burnout, and running ourselves ragged.
I’ve worn MANY hats during my time in schools including tutor, volleyball coach, classroom instructor, resident dean, club advisor, counselor, advisor, committee chair, administrator on duty, Dean of Community Life, and Dean of Students. As a result, I know first hand that working in schools can be overwhelming. However, living in a state of overwhelm day after day, week after week until you are living for Fridays and holiday breaks is not the solution.
It was early in my administrative career that burnout arrived at my doorstep. I had the position I sought, loved where I was living and yet, my life was woefully out of balance. What I offered to students, families, and colleagues was a depleted version of myself.
We can function this way, yet for an extended period of time, it is unsustainable and comes at a high cost to every person in your life.
Reflect for a moment on your educational experience and the teachers, coaches, and mentors in your life who:
In my life, these people include Mrs. Oestrich, Mr. Graupner, Mrs. Aubineau , Mr. Ramburg, Mr. Diallo, Mr. Sawadogo, and countless others.
In the moments when these incredible educators were in front of me, did I realize they were transforming me from the inside, out?
I did not.
What I know is this: the greatest privilege of my life was to be invited into the lives of my students and colleagues.
Out of necessity came a joyful, fulfilling career spanning more than 20 years in schools. I would love to say that I was called to work in schools from an early age. Truth be told, I needed to be in close proximity to my graduate school so that I would finish my thesis.
This internal awareness of what I needed and actually listening to it, introduced me to the transformational power of being the champion for another person; the necessity of acknowledging the humanity in each of us; the importance of creating space to accommodate all manners of frailty; and informed the philosophy of my personal and professional life.
I have walked the halls of academic buildings, residence halls, performance venues, and athletic centers; gathered around the administrative table, lead from the Dean's office and served many different types of institutions. There were countless nights and weekends on duty, some were smooth sailing, others not so much.
I understand, first- hand the challenges schools face with time, communication, morale, engagement, and turnover. I also know on a deeper level that not everyone can work in schools. The investment of self, the commitment to service, embracing 'other duties as assigned' is matched with the triumphant moments watching learning sink in, the community rallying to support one another, when records are broken, and goals surpassed.
What can this look like?
Keynotes, leadership team workshops, professional development for faculty & staff, coaching programs for new faculty, and school-wide assemblies/gatherings are some of the ways I can impact your community.
If you are ready to strengthen your school community, expand your leadership capacity, support faculty and staff in a powerful way, or increase the impact you can have on your students without sacrificing yourself, let's talk.