Elin and Christina’s Career Journey
by Christina M. Macalino, March 2021
Our Career Journey
Elin and I both had seven district moves. Definitely a lot to unpack here.
Elin’s Career Path:
- Alameda (counselor: 1 year)
- San Lorenzo (counselor: 4 years)
- South City (counselor: 1.5 years)
- Oakland (administrator: 1.5 years)
- Pacifica (administrator: 4 years)
- South City (counselor: 2 years)
- San Mateo (counselor: current, year 1)
Christina’s Career Path:
- San Jose (teacher: 3 years)
- San Lorenzo (teacher: 1 year)
- Oakland (teacher: 2.5 years & administrator: 3.5 years)
- Millbrae (administrator: 2 years)
- Oakland (administrator: 1 years)
- Mountain House (administrator: 2 years)
- Concord (administrator: current, year 1)
School District Resignation
At one of my school districts, I had two direct supervisors. When I was in the process of resigning from the school district, both supervisors asked me to reconsider my resignation. My mind was already made up; there was absolutely no turning back. My final answer was a hard, but respectful, no.
Both resignation conversations went something like this:
- Oh wow. This was unexpected. I’m disappointed to hear this.
- I appreciate all of your hard work.
- If you are tired and overwhelmed, I can assure you it will be easier next year.
- (ME: no… I made up my mind) So you are not going to change your mind?
- Well, you have the potential to be a strong leader but you are not there yet.
- You know you are going to have a hard time looking for another position? School districts will look at your resume and not even consider you for an interview because your list of districts would be a red flag. Thus, you should really reconsider your resignation.
- (After another hard no…) Well, this wasn’t a good fit for you anyway. I think you would be a better fit at a smaller school site.
However, after looking back at these conversations, the conversation should have went something like this:
- I’m sorry to hear.
- You are appreciated and acknowledged for all your hard work you have provided for our staff and students (perhaps even list examples).
- I want to learn from this, so please share why you are deciding to leave at the end of the school year.
- Moving forward, we will work as a team to address your concerns so you can feel supported from now until the end of the school year.
- Here is what we will try to do moving forward…(whatever the plan of reflection and action plan).
And just to clear some things up…
- Elin and I have left each of the districts in good standing – meaning we were never labeled as a NON-RE-ELECT in any of our school districts. Just had to make that crystal clear.
- Elin and I have been offered jobs. Just saying…
- We have been asked to advise, provide insight, and/or guidance from our former school sites/districts to assist with master scheduling (or another role and responsibility we were once assigned to). Which is what inspired us to open up a consulting side hustle!
K-12 Educator Retention
Absolutely, teacher retention is a huge issue. And, school counselor retention is an issue. And, school site administrator retention is an issue. Basically K-12 educator retention is an issue. However, there are numerous articles addressing teacher retention but barely any articles addressing school counselor and administrator retention. Yes, there are some, but one would have to dig deep into the research realm, such as scholarly journal sites.
Do you have any questions, thoughts, reactions to this post? Hit us up at email@example.com or on Instagram @empoweredconversationspod. We would love to hear from you and have a collaborative conversation. -Elin and Christina
Podcast related to post:
- Empowered Conversations With Elin & Christina, Season 1 Episode 5: Lucky or Unlucky 7