Every year, the first grade interviews many members of the Pike adult community to learn about their jobs. When they come to ask me what I do, it is not always easy to formulate an answer. However, when they ask what I like about my job, I have a great deal to say. Those two questions are related in that I like my job because it is hard to define. No two days are anything like each other. I thought I would give you a description of yesterday as a way to explain why I feel fortunate to do what I do.
Because I knew today was very full, Liza and I went to the gym at 5:15 AM to get the exercise that we believe gives us the energy we need to keep up with the kids. We got to school at 7:30 to get ready for the day. I went to the library where Fran and Linda had provided a nice breakfast and had put out books by Joseph Bruchac who will be here next week as a Visiting Artist, working with our students and teachers. Then, I tracked down one of the students in my history class who agreed to be the computer whiz for tomorrow when my class will see clips from the DVD Jeremiah Johnson and answer questions about what it was like to be a fur trapper in the period we are studying. After my daily directing of morning traffic, I went to the monthly Parent Association board meeting. The chair of our Board of Trustees, Lucy Abislaih, spoke to them about topics the Board is currently investigating. I showed them the parent survey that our community will be filling out during the last week of April and first week of May. I explained that this would be a key data point as we begin the process of creating a new five-year strategic plan for our school. I answered a few questions about topics ranging from admissions to snow days to the calendar.
Next, I answered about 35 emails that were waiting for me and signed some 30 Annual Fund letters, thanking members of the community for generously supporting the school. From there, I went to Zoe Hastings’ room to read to her Second Graders as part of a school wide initiative during which every child at Pike will be read to by an adult over a two week period. I talked briefly with a faculty member about a summer grant she was thinking of proposing and then corrected a few of the journals that were due for my history students. We are in the process of choosing an auditor for the school, so I reviewed my notes about the two firms we met with last night to plan what our next steps would be. At noon, I had a meeting with a woman from an organization that provides support to non-profit institutions. After a quick lunch, I went upstairs in the Horne building for our third and final session with the Fifth Grade boys to discuss issues related to puberty, adolescence, and sexuality. I do believe that these sessions help start the important conversations in families on these topics that are critical to the development of our children. The Division Heads and I then met with Nancy Gerzon who is the consultant helping us with our PLT work. We looked at the rest of the year as well as at future directions for this work on effective instruction and assessment.
After a relatively smooth dismissal, we had one of my favorite events, the annual Faculty/Staff Appreciation reception. Tht is an opportunity to be together as a community and recognize people who have had a long connection with the school, discussing all they have done for the Pike community. This year, we recognized Aaron Hovel and Ed Santella for ten years of service; Bo Baird, Janet Cooper, and Linda Stratton for fifteen years; and Carolyn Tobey for 25 years at Pike. Last night, I learned that in the audit industry, the average annual turnover rate is 27%. We are fortunate that at Pike, that number is between five and ten percent. After that event, I hurried down to Logan airport to catch a flight to Washington, DC, to spend two days with Steven Labarakwe, our primary host in Kenya. I will be taking him binders created by our students in Lower and Middle School that tell the story of what it is like to go to school at Pike. I will also be sending him back to Ngurunit with disposable cameras, so his students can photograph themselves and their school. The plan is that they will create similar binders that will find their way back to Pike, so our students can learn more about an elementary school in Northern Kenya. I cannot wait to see a good friend and to build this bridge between our schools.
What a wonderful day! While some days might be a little less eventful and include more mundane tasks, the variety fits my style exceedingly well. I feel very fortunate to have found such a wonderful career. Thanks for helping to make that possible with your support.