Decision Made

Last night’s board meeting brings a different level of consciousness because, not only am I noting the content, I am watching the current president navigate the ins-and-outs of conducting business with a group of her peers. Why now?

About a month ago, I was approached by the nominating committee and asked if I would consider the office of president. I am a fairly new resident to my state and a member of the statewide Oregon Council of Teachers of English even though my role here has only ever been as a substitute—of whatever subject. I lack the network, the connections, that a daily teaching life brings. I left that behind in New Jersey.

However, now I have the time—or I did before I began teaching on a regular basis again. But this job will end, is ending, and then…? What if I were to undertake this new role? It comes with a four-year commitment, two years as president-elect under the tutelage of the president who will be installed at the end of July followed by two years as actual president. (I can barely handle capitalization of the word “president”—should I or shouldn’t I?—and yet, here I am.)

I remember debating continuing education after completing my masters degree. I love learning, I’m a “school kid,” so even without the firm destination of a PhD in mind, I set forth, taking every great class I could. Professors would say, “Find a research interest. Find something specific as your focus. That’s what it takes to apply for the program.” But it all interested me: effective conferences, parent engagement, classes without grades, interdisciplinary collaboration, inquiry. There was no way I could pick one and eliminate the others. Myopia, to a certain degree, is a necessary component of excellence, of mastery, of achievement.

And time passed, until the choice was made for me: no advanced degree. Time will pass, whether I decide to commit to this new opportunity or not. In the end, I say yes to the committee and accept the nomination. I will find my focus.

6 thoughts on “Decision Made”

  1. Congratulations. You will do well. When I was approached to take over as president of our local chapter of school retirees I agreed even though I was not looking for more work to do. Due to Covid my term as president has been extended, not something I had planned on happening.

    1. I will certainly learn a lot! And I do love professional organizations. They have given me great support over a long career.

  2. No one has more passion for students nor commitment to professional excellence than you, big sister. Will you have a gavel?

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