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Well I was born in a small town…

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November 2011

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…and I live in a small town.  If the title alone doesn’t get the famous song running through your mind, take a moment to listen to this little ditty (couldn’t resist throwing in another Mellencamp reference).

So technically, I was born in a larger city close to my small town, and I live in the country outside of that same small town.  But, that just doesn’t make for good lyrics.  John Mellencamp and I are also both from Indiana, and while I identify with much of his famous song, there is a part where I disagree.

“My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity”
 

There are opportunities anywhere and everywhere.  Leaders look for those opportunities, or they are the ones who create them.  I love being an educator in a small town.  It was a choice.  Just as it was a choice to return to my hometown to raise my own children in that small town.  I don’t apologize for working in a small district.  I don’t feel less than my colleagues who work in larger corporations.  I actually have an advantage in many ways.  There is more opportunity to get to know all of the stakeholders better; to form more authentic relationships.  I like to learn teachers’ strengths and encourage them to share their talents/knowledge with peers.  I have the opportunity to get to know the children I work with and their families.  I can focus more on the learning, and less on the statistics of testing data.  Do I have as many financial opportunities as leaders in larger school districts?  Probably not.  But then, what educator chose this career for the money?

“I can breathe in a small town.”
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