What Are You Waiting For?

The Teacher Leadership Initiative offered through Schools That Lead is a program I was just introduced to this school year. Initially, when asked if I would like to participate, I was weary, wondering, “How can I handle one more thing?” I decided to think about it and look into the program on my own. I read about the Schools that Lead initiative online, discussed it with peers, and talked to several colleagues that began the program last year. My research rings true, that although it can be a lot of work, it is worth every second devoted to its mission.

Now, half way through the two year program, I look back at what I’ve accomplished thus far and it is such a great feeling to see all of the hard work paying off exponentially despite what is being thrown at me. Between the three micro-credentials I earned and being awarded the 2017 Cedar Lane Elementary Teacher of the Year title, I feel beyond blessed to be doing all of this as a single mom of two beautiful kids.

In addition to working full time, participating in the Appoquinimink Aspiring Administrators Cohort, coaching my daughter’s tee ball team, assisting my son’s baseball team, volunteering with various animal rescue groups across the state, and being a member of the Appoquinimink Writing Pilot, I am successfully leading and forging through powerful student learning. To the Schools That Lead Team, I don’t know if you will ever realize the impact your program is having on me and my professional growth. Without getting too personal, as a single working mom, I am in a situation now that I never dreamt I would be in and that these days is all too common. The reason I bring this up is not to bore you with personal dilemmas or for pity, rather to inspire you. No matter what you have on your plate, I encourage you to not sit on the side lines; jump in, in fact, dive in to whatever professional growth opportunities cross your path. Leave no stone unturned, no road untraveled. Of course, there will be stress and days you think you’ll never get caught up; we all have those, but keep your head up, keep fighting, keep trudging through. Keep advancing through powerful student learning, through leadership, through empowering others and through changing the lives of your students, your family, and yourself.

I am hoping that hearing my story will help deepen everyone’s understanding of the impact we can make on our students through the strategies taught in the Schools That Lead initiative. To the founders, please keep this initiative alive; to the current participants, keep up the great work and to the future participants, don’t let your busy schedule stop you from amazing things. The strategies and techniques taught in this initiative are literally changing my life and the impact I have on my students. My only question to those not involved yet is, “What are you waiting for?”

Kimberly Anthony-Thompson
Cedar Lane Elementary School