It happened for the first time this year….a first grader saw me in the cafeteria on the first day of in person school, and not knowing my name yet, he said, “Hey, Boss!” It struck me as funny! Not necessarily because it is not true, but that even the students know that the buck stops with me!
When I decided to be a teacher at the age of 6, I really did not anticipate doing anything but being a classroom teacher for my entire career. However, if I think back to my childhood years, I have always been around leaders. My grandma was a “unit head” at her job…my grandpa was a respected, unofficial leader of the town I grew up in…my dad was a deputy sheriff for a time and then a lead at his job…my step-mother is a manager at the town Walmart Pharmacy. I also think back and guess who was always in charge of deciding what games or things we would do in my neighborhood….yes, you guessed right….so I guess I have to say, I have always had it in me. But, at that time, if I didn’t know you well, I was painfully shy. I knew I was smart, but did not want others to know. I knew how to organize things, but not confident enough to stand up and take charge. I guess I can say, this completely changed in me as I grew into my career.
Now, I will not lie to you…becoming the “boss” comes with a lot of sacrifices. Just to get my bachelor’s degree took both my es-husband and I working multiple jobs, missed time with my daughter, and late hours studying at night after the others went to bed. Fast forward to deciding to take on leadership roles in my school lead to me having to change my relationships with my friends that I taught with. The master’s degree was even more of a sacrifice…not because of the cost (I was lucky enough to find a grant that paid for it all), but because my daughter was beginning middle school and it required, again, missed opportunities to spend some important time with her. And, ultimately, getting the job, which does require a lot of time and effort to do it well, probably contributed to the failure of my marriage.
But, would i change any of this? Absolutely not! I affect hundreds of children’s lives each year. I make decisions that impact the future. And, I think I am actually pretty good at it! Does it still require sacrifice….of course. It is hard to spend time dating when you already have people around you that you want to spend the little time you have with. When work needs to get done, it needs to get done…which means you work until it is done. But, being the “boss” has been a very rewarding experience for me and I really would not want it any other way.
As far as missed time with my daughter over the years…well, I truly believe that we have used it to teach us. She has seen me move into leadership roles and serve others. She sees her mama as a strong woman that is making a difference in the world. And, she is even beginning to follow the same path in her career, one day serving others in many anticipated leadership positions in education!
And, what it has provided me more than anything else…I am a single woman in a position where I do not need anyone to take care of me. I can problem solve when situations, not only in the work place, but in real life arise. I can financially support myself, which is something I have seen other women over the years not be able to do and possibly be in a place where they are stuck without other options in life. And, it has given me a chance to have a big impact on the world.
As I continue on my journey through life, I embrace the many titles that I have. And, boss…is certainly one of them! Stay tuned, my friends!