When a School Closes
Once more I’d like to talk about change. It’s not easy when a school closes. There’s a huge difference between resigning and being told you’re losing your job. In small communities, schools are often the centre and sometimes the biggest employer.
Four years ago, there were two schools in our community, a college for years 7-13 and a primary school for years 1-7. The college had for quite a few years and for various reasons, received some unfavourable Education Review Office reviews.
The primary school where I had worked, decided to back one of the ministries options of becoming an area school.
I suppose the six months of consultation and the year before we closed were amongst the hardest.
For a time it divided the community, was awkward occasionally amongst colleagues, and occupied our minds and lives for a year and a half.
Some of us decided to apply for jobs at the new school, some felt it was time to move on and some chose other options.
Schools are such emotional and passionate places, I’d be concerned it they weren’t.
My message to anyone in this position is, its not easy, it can be mentally and physically stressful, but try and stand back and look at what is the best for the students and families of your community.
It can be a time to take stock and reinvent yourself, get refreshed and excited about the challenge; do some research about whatever the ministry is trying to put in place.
Visit schools that have been through it and are now thriving.
I’m very fortunate that I work with an amazingly dedicated and diverse team.
From our first notification of closure, to now, it’s been tumultuous at times and its been exhilarating at times, but whatever it is…I’m so glad I decided to go on the journey, what an adventure its been!