It is Christmas in the Early Childhood Center world! So many amazing things happened this week that will only enhance the experience of the children we touch.
First off, we had an amazing Leadership Retreat to kick off the year with our team. We have been studying the Professional Learning Communities model and worked through the ins and outs of how to implement that with our programs. There was great thinking, tough conversation and collegiality...who could ask for more from your core group of folks! Get ready for 2010-11...it's going to be bigger and better than ever!
Then we spent the next three days in our Administrative retreat for the district. Not usually my favorite work time right before school, but this one was a real treat! We have been studying Phil Schlecty's work in his newest book Leading for Learning and had incredible conversation about what that means for each of us as we move away from bureaucracy into the learning organization model we all want for our kids. Our team of principals who led this took us down each path with patience and attention to planning, and we really moved together toward embracing this new paradigm through thoughtful consideration of who we want to be for our special students.
Everyone was dismissed at noon yesterday and told to relax...HA! We interviewed four candidates until 6 pm for our open teaching position. May not sound like the most fun in the world, but the last interview blew us away. You know, there are people in the world who MUST be doing this work because it is in their DNA! And we met one yesterday like that. I have interviewed literally hundreds of candidates over the years, but I have never fallen so in love with a teacher...just like I know the kids will too when she greets them on her first home visit and on the first day of school. Lucky kids! They will soar with her as their leader and we are so blessed to have met her. I was flying high when I got home!
In the midst of all that greatness....we gained a new bilingual instructional specialist - a free gift from the district! Our kids are 100% at risk and we limped through last year with a half time instructional specialist....we went from .5 to 2.0!!! The support we will have in place will break down barriers like never before. What an amazing gift.
I keep saying that this will be the best year of my career...and I can't wait to share the successes we have!