Thursday, February 12, 2009

Choosing Elizabeth

Today I was offered a job, a position that I truly enjoyed when I held it for two and half years a few years ago. The job offered great opportunities to work with educators across our state, to travel to conferences to present to eager attendees, to visit other school districts and meet with folks who genuinely care about students and want to improve their own skills in order to to help students achieve.

When I was in this position before, my days were packed with many telephone calls. From anxious teachers working on their portfolios to district coordinators looking to get answers to their questions, my phone rang non-stop for the eight hours I was there. I also came in each day to several voice messages to return.

My days were also packed with emails, tons of emails. Again from teachers to coordinators to university faculty and research students, everyone looking for information about the program that I coordinated for our state. I would rapid fire emails -- send, send, send -- giving each one appropriate information with links to legislation and data and websites.

My days were also spent creating materials for workshops, whether that was drafting basic handouts, developing PowerPoint presentations, designing brochures and flyers, or updating the program website. I used my creativity to come up with powerful, exciting presentations for those many educators and coordinators across our state that counted on me.

Many of my days were spent traveling, sometimes as much as four hours one way to conduct a two hour workshop or meeting just to turn around and head back home for another four hours. But the graciousness and appreciativeness of folks made every mile worth it. I had the opportunities to attend and to present at national conferences, networking with colleagues in my field for three, four, sometimes five days at a time.

Today I was offered that job again. But today I turned it down, instead choosing Elizabeth, my two year old.