Happy New Year

A little over a month ago I ranted about the organizational changes now going on where I work, here in a small corner of the instruction department in our overly-large school district.

In that post I also mentioned that I would also be getting a new job, something that was unrelated to the rest of the departmental churning.

So as of today, I am now the new middle school guy in the office.

Filling in the context, our little group (five people, soon to be six when the hiring process is done) is responsible for the support and training of all the school-based instructional technology trainers in our schools, just over 200 of them.*

For the past five years or so, I’ve shared responsibility for the elementary group with Karen (a creative force and animal photographer extraordinaire!) and will now be working with the middle school trainers, taking the place of Terry (also very talented!) who retired yesterday.

Ok, maybe not such a big change. The move isn’t a promotion, not “moving up” (hate the implications of that phrase!), simply a sideways shift. And I already know most of the people involved, which makes things easier.

Even so, this is hardly the end of the alterations for our office. Anytime one member of team that’s been working together for a long time is replaced, the dynamics will be different.

Not to mention our ongoing challenges of forming and maintaining working relationships with all the new people in new boxes, plus the folks we already know now in their new boxes, on the recently revised departmental org chart.

However, beyond all that reorganizational stuff going on at work, I still have that little voice in the back of my head conversing with me about other, more personal, changes that need to happen. (Yes, I talk to myself. :-)

I’m not sure what form the personal alterations will take (no tats!) but the voice keeps coming back to doing more about walking-the-walk and less talking.

Like following Gary Stager’s lead and refusing to accept excuses for the lack of progress in making great use of the powerful tools we have available.

And I’m also feeling the need to do something more/different with this space and the two others I work on irregularly. Not sure what that means either, so at this point it’s just a sense that something is not right.

Anyway, all of this increasingly incoherent rambling finally brings me back to the title.

I’ve always believed that we celebrate the new year in the wrong month.

September, the fall, feels far more like a starting point, or more appropriately a reset point, than does the first day of January.

More and more our traditional New Year’s Day seems more like the welcome termination of an incredibly long endurance contest.

So, I’m celebrating today. Happy new year everyone, and for me, welcome to my new beginnings.

*For those of you elsewhere in Virginia, you probably know them as ITRTs – Instructional Technology Resource Teachers. Our system, being the center of the known educational universe (the PR office says so :-), uses a different job title.

4 Comments Happy New Year

  1. Doug Johnson

    Hi Tim,

    I always get a little nervous reading posts like this since it is so easy to hear my own staff questioning “departmental changes.” (Or my family members when they complain about their supervisors.)

    Do remember that “progress” can take many shapes, one of them being less stressed teachers.

    Have a great new school year!


  2. Joyce Anne Callaghan

    Perhaps, when we have full time TSSpecs in our buildings, we can become real and only ITRTs. As it is, we still have to do a lot of the software, hardware stuff, if we want our buildings to have access to technology. Also, if TSSpecs were required to have teaching credentials so they understood what the needs were, every building would be better off.


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