Routine is an integral part of me. I have blogged about this before, but at the time I was focused on one important mission - adjusting to life without my mother. Fortunately, I still had the routine of fourteen years, which was largely established through my work family at Calloway County Middle School. Although a little weary and quite shell-shocked, I weathered this past year magnificently, due in part to my colleagues and the simple routine of the daily grind. Of course my faith steered me to calmer waters, but the friends and faces of my Laker family helped soothe a very tumultuous year.
You see, room 215 in the halls of Calloway County Middle School will always be a beautiful gift to me. In the presence of great people, I was able to thrive as an educator. During the last fourteen years as a Laker, I have fallen in love with learning in a completely different way. I like to be in a constant state of growth professionally. I am never satisfied with the status quo and always strive to hone my teaching skills. People like Tawnya Hunter, my previous principal, are to blame. They placed resources in my hands, gave me a feel for teacher-leadership, and encouraged me to grow. Dr. Debbie Bell at Murray State University fostered in me a new confidence by listening to my ideas and cultivating a strong desire for literacy education. Above all, my colleagues, especially Robin and Heather, fueled the fire to grow through listening to my ideas, experimenting with me, sharing their trials, and caring about me. Finally, my students and their families supported me when I tried and succeeded (or often failed) in whatever experiment I was conducting at the time. Each of these wonderful experiences, however, have led me to take a leap of faith and move from Calloway County Middle School the the New South Marshall Middle.
So, why in the world would I step out of that cocoon of safety and venture into uncertain waters? Easy . . . I crave change. Some of you may not know this, but I am actually a Graves County girl. I worked as an educator at Graves County High School for six years. Goodness, I grew up in good ole' Farmington, Kentucky and attended school in Graves County for twelve years. So, when asked to pursue a career in Marshall County, I had to do a whole lot of thinking. Although I have lived near Marshall my whole life, I do not know much about the area. I was, to be honest, torn. Fortunately, my dad taught me a long time ago to create a pros and cons list. This list is why I am making the shift from my safe Laker world to the land of the Marshalls. Simply put, the pros outweighed the cons.
Marshall has opened up a new vision for me. I am excited to learn about new programs, work with fresh perspectives, and experience an educational system focused on project-based learning. PBL, although not new to me, is very intriguing. I love the idea of providing a classroom atmosphere engineered around action planning and cannot wait until August to begin this new journey.
I realize this will sound cliche, but change IS good. To my Laker family - you are always a part of me. Thank you for the last fourteen years; you will always be my family. To my new SMMS family - hold on tight! I am excited to get to know you and cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us.
Of course, I am certain many of you have experienced change in careers or relocation. If you have advice or comments, please feel free to respond.
I love to hear from you!
Kimberly Barrett, NBCT, Bachelor of Arts of English, Murray State University, 1996, Master's Degree in English, MSU, 2004
Blessed to teach since 1996, I spend my days doing exactly what I've always wanted to do . . . TEACH. I'm married to the sweetest man alive, Tim, and we have two beautiful babies, Marlee Rose and Beau Wilson.