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New position, more to love

By GAIL REYNOLDS • Oct 5, 2019 at 4:30 PM

It has been just more than a month since school started and it’s safe to say a lot of changes have happened.

Change is inevitable and it causes us to grow. Taking a new position has provided me to view things differently. After working my first few weeks on the job trying to find my way, it was nice to sit back and allow the amazing teachers to do their job.

Preparing as an administrator was totally different than preparing for a new set of students. The teachers have expectations, all the parents were anxious and most importantly, the school needed to be ready for students to arrive.

All of the preparing I did couldn’t prepare me for what would come next.

I found myself lost as the first day of school started. I said a prayer for the whole school as part of my new role, then walked out of my office not sure what to do next.

As I walked the halls I looked into every classroom watching the teachers perform their duty of teaching the children the rules for their classroom. How could I help? Where were the kids that needed me? What was I supposed to be teaching?

For many years I was the one setting the stage for a great successful year in the classroom. Now I take the backseat and allow my teachers to do their thing. I have decided that through my ministry it is my job to pass on the passion and love for teaching through my staff. I have to help them reach their potential to drive their students to love learning. I will no longer reach out to just a classroom of students but to the entire school. I get to be a part of the students running up to the school, smiling as they are getting off the bus. I open the doors for the children who are eager to enter. I hug those who are having a hard time leaving their parents and assure them that they will see them soon.

Some of my favorite moments so far are when the children are upset when they have to go home or their time is up for the day. This typically happens a lot at the Flyer Clubhouse.

This is just one special part of our school. The Flyer Clubhouse staff look after students before they go to school and after school is over. We even have preschool students who may stay all day in our daycare. Enough cannot be said about how amazing and special this program is. So much so that the students often don’t want to leave or they want to stay longer.

With the increase in families using the daycare this year, I have found myself helping out in the clubhouse, when needed. This has given me an opportunity to get to know some of these students and their families. It also gave me an idea of what our daycare is really about and how things operate. Being a full-time teacher the past few years I never really got a sense of what all happen in the daycare. Experiencing first hand has given me a new love for how well we care for and love these students all throughout our building.

Through all my experiences these first few weeks I find myself reflecting that although one door closed, I am excited to explore the new door that opened. I plan to take in every experience as a way to improve the student's experience all while finding joy for my own personal experience.

Local columnist Gail Reynolds is the interim director of the Norwalk Catholic School Early Childhood Center.

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