You are here

Blog: Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Gratefulness

As I am looking to close a chapter (I still tend to stutter when I say the word retirement), I have had to ponder the end of a job/career I have loved (most of the time).

I have experienced 18 years in the Abbotsford School District, and am now coming to the end of a chapter, in a book that has been rich with experiences and encounters.

I have worked with committed educators with whom I have both sought counsel and at times, given counsel. Together we have laughed heartily and at other times struggled as we have tried to think of creative ways to meet children’s needs, or build a school community. I think of the many parents I have encountered over the years as we have worked together to seek success for their child. But mostly, I will miss my interactions with students, opening the front doors to welcome hundreds of children through the doors, and being energized by their enthusiasm or figuring out how to best reach out to the child with the hoody over their head, who clearly has had a tough morning.

High school graduation is a celebration, as well it should be. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to see many students, with whom I have interacted, cross the stage. For every student that walks the stage, there has been a myriad of people involved. It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a community to ensure a student finishes their high school years well, and is ready for the new challenges in life. It is always meaningful watching students finish this pillar in their lives, and wishing them well for the journey ahead. Often I hug both the parents and the child. Some experiences are extra special! I am grateful that I was able to be a part of that colony of people: pieces of the greater school picture puzzle.

In my last two years working out of CORE as the District Principal of Learning Services, I witnessed even more picture puzzles of our district community. I am humbled as I see and hear about the many ways our support staff, our bus drivers, our teachers and our administrators are all working together to craft the pages, and the chapters of our students’ lives.

My experience in schools and in the district office have stretched me, challenged me and made my life richer. I am grateful for the many students, staff and parents who have crafted the pages and chapters of my experience.

CHARLOTTE SIEMENS
District Principal, Learning Support Services