Let’s get past the technicalities first: I don’t literally have my Initial Administrator License in my hand at this very second; however I have received official notification that my portfolio has been approved, and I have completed the program at Concordia University (ironically the same day I wrote a check for my $700 student loan payment). I am officially registered and studying for the ORELA exam that I will take in January. So technically that license won’t be in my hand till like February or March. But it’s all cake from here.
Getting through the program took me 2.5 years. I had my admission interview THREE years ago, which is sad, really. In that interview, the guy asked, “So you want to be a principal?” And I replied, “Actually, I’m not sure. Possibly. I just want to have the pieces in place for career advancement.” To which he laughed, shook my hand, and then took my money. Here I am three years later with the same indecisiveness.
I never would have guessed that my experience in the program would be so, so terrible. My classes at Concordia were lackluster and did very little to prepare me for anything realistic. Then the principal that I had hoped would be my mentor ended up retiring. The new principal was a revered veteran in the district so I still had great hopes that I would really glean something amazing from his leadership (I was picturing Ernest Shackleton leading our high poverty school to a point where we could be nationally recognized), and instead he was the most unprofessional, unethical, egotistical, unorganized man I have ever had the pleasure of working for.
For two whole years, he gave lip service to my program supervisor from the university, and then treated me like garbage. But I kept pushing through. What was I supposed to do? Quit the program? Complain to his supervisor and ruin my reputation? Smear his name to the PTA so I would ruin my chance of getting a job in the future? I kept my head down; let’s just say I was not inspired by his leadership style.
The bright spot was my second mentor (at a different site so I only saw her a couple times a month). Having worked for her in the past, I knew she would give me hope. Her leadership style couldn’t have been more different and I aspire to her level of knowledge, vision, and sense of humor in a leadership role.
Then I had to compile a giant portfolio with lots of “artifacts,” each with a narrative about how it represented my ability to be an administrator. The portfolio also included other things like observations of other teachers, self-evaluations, a 20+ page journal, a log showing all 360 hours in detail, and a million other little things I barely even remember at this point.
I have this feeling that once I receive the actual license, I will know exactly what to do. I feel close to a decision.
I saw this stupid mug in a store the other day:
I kind of hate crap like that. But I felt compelled to take a picture nonetheless.