Not Just Any First Day of School

Today is my last official day of summer. However, this whole summer has pretty much been spent getting ready for what will begin tomorrow at 7:30 am. The feeling at my house this evening is one of eager anticipation, mixed with perhaps a little sprinkling of something that smells a bit like new books and school-ready sneakers.sneakers Tomorrow is my first day of school. Not just any first day of school.

Four weeks ago, I was in a city I have longed to see for many years – Paris. It was there I looked online at the posting for the position I wanted, and I realized I could apply. I would be crazy not to. I was completely qualified, but the application date was prior to my return. And so, from Paris I reached out to six extraordinary people to write letteiffel towerers of recommendation for me, to one amazing colleague to edit my revised resume and letter of intent. I called my son to ask for files from my computer that I had left home. I texted my daughter and asked her to pick up the letters and deliver them for me. I called a friend to help coordinate delivery of all the pieces of the application packet. I finished the process from thousands of miles away. All thanks to a small army of supporters who pitched in to support.

Three weeks ago I sat in an interview with a panel of dedicated teachers, a parent representative, the ointerview in progressffice manager and school area director and sought to teach them about my qualifications for this very important job. I was called back for a second interview with the superintendent. He called later that day to offer me the position. Even before this process I began to imagine ways to begin. I’d met many of the current teachers. They were on fire for their students. I was over the moon!  I celebrated with friends and colleagues and called on trusted advisors.

Two weeks ago I drove by the school every day considering what I know at present and remembering. My son spent kindergarten and first grade within those walls. Sweet wonderful days. I ran the community art program there during those years. I remember the military wives club raising funds to purchase the large marquee on which they now

Poem & graphic by Julieanne Harmatz. @jarhartz #WabtR

Poem & graphic by Julieanne Harmatz  To Read To Write To Be . @jarhartz #WabtR

proudly display pertinent dates and events. I walked around the school’s perimeter. I noticed two trucks parked there each day, likely the plant manager and building and grounds people summer cleaning the campus. I reached out to people who currently work there and to a few from the community with ties and interest in the school. I also took the time to read and participate in an electronic book club (#WabtR) with teachers from across the country who are literacy leaders. I learned so much from participating in the writing about reading week with these incredible educators. Much I hope to bring to this new adventure. What a great professional development forum using google docs and twitter.

This past week I took a couple of days and got out of town, squeezing in a little more summer before the real work of supporting this special school begins. I participated in my regular Wednesday twitter chats led by the wonderful staff developers at Columbtcrwp dancing ladyia Teachers College. (#tcrwp)  I took care of appointments and paperwork at home so that I will be clear once tomorrow arrives. I stopped by the school on Monday and met the two men who take care of the building and grounds all year long. They were incredibly helpful and very busy. The school is getting a roof repair, new lines on the playground. There’s a beautiful new mural going in, and the main office is getting a new tile floor – wonderful updates to a beautiful school building.

NFirst day of schoolow we are here. It is the evening before my first day. My first day as principal of the sweetest little school by the sea you ever imagined.

So tonight as I lay out clothes, my computer, note books and calendar, grab my water bottle and a Kind bar, I will also be tucking in a good deal of courage and enthusiasm. I can’t wait to get in, meet everyone and begin the work of growing and supporting this very special little school.


About Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be You

Principal at the School at the north end of Los Angeles Harbor where AWESOME happens. Working to make the world a little more wonder-full.
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18 Responses to Not Just Any First Day of School

  1. Cathy says:

    You have all the courage you need! Go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aileenhower says:

    Wishing you the best!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. elsie says:

    What a journey to get to this day! Can’t wait to read more as this year unfolds. Sending good vibes from the Midwest to you Dayna! 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  4. margaretsmn says:

    I love the same flavor of Kind as you do. Hope the extra boost from that dark chocolate gives you what you need. You seem so happy. I know your staff will be overjoyed to have you lead them. Can’t wait to hear more about this new adventure.


  5. Barbara says:

    I’m so proud and excited for you. I hope your first day was great and look forward to going on this new journey with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jarhartz says:

    It’s the beginning of a beautiful journey. Happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Danielle Moore says:

    Congratulations! I am looking forward to hearing more about this exciting journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kelli S. says:

    I just discovered your blog and I am already a big fan. You sound like a teacher’s dream principal! I look forward to reading more about your new adventure. Best wishes for an awesome school year!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. vvinton says:

    Just wanted to say how much I also love the name of your blog and to share a quote from Sir Ken Robinson: “The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.” I imagine you’re doing that – or at least trying to – every day. Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

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