I look forward to driving to the Cape to attend the MESPA Spring Conference in May – I have made it a priority. This time of the year is so hectic for a principal, so much to do and not enough time- it can be crazy! Yet each year when I drive across the bridge I know that I will be recharged and renewed to finish the year. I will become more focused on what is important and strengthened by principal colleagues. The drive across the bridge reminds me that I will soon be among friends who are elementary principals.
When I was appointed to my first principal position, I was told that I needed to join MESPA and get involved. As I look back, this was clearly wonderful advice. MESPA has opened the doors to professional learning and to an amazing support system throughout my career. I remember attending my first Spring Conference as a beginning principal feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. I was on a mission – I needed to find other principals who had been doing this for a while and were able to manage it well – personally and professionally. Mission accomplished! That first year I met so many principals who became inspirational role models for me. I haven’t missed a Spring Conference in all my years as a principal.
I am looking forward to learning and networking with Massachusetts’s principals once again this May. Taking time to connect with others who share a passion for our work is the gift I give myself. I continue to be inspired by the great leaders in our organization. The breakout sessions are presented by practicing principals who walk in our shoes everyday. I have always appreciated the time available during these three days to have conversations with other principals. This year I am especially excited to connect with principals that I follow on Twitter and who are part of the MESPA Voxer group that started at our Fall Conference. Social media is serving as a way to extend our collaboration beyond the conferences.
I will be registering for my 18th MESPA conference this year – click here for the brochure. Although many of the principals I met in 1998 when I was starting out have retired, there are new leaders among us bringing fresh ideas and energy to our profession. And if there are any new principals who, like me 18 years ago, show up at the conference with self-doubt and are looking for words of encouragement, I hope I can pay it forward. See you in Hyannis!
Elaine Mead, MESPA Professional Development Committee
@ElaineMead1 on Twitter
Are you interested in sharing your ideas, insights and questions? If so, click here to sign up for a post. Julie Vincentsen, Principal of Ruggles Lane School, will reach out with specifics. Are you interested but nervous because you’ve never blogged before and don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry – as long as you know how to use Microsoft Word you will be up to this challenge. We write for our communities all the time – this just changes your audience. You probably could even take a current newsletter you’ve written and repurpose it for your colleagues.