…and I don’t like it.
For the past 6 years, I’ve been a member of the Education Minnesota Governing Board. This is an elected position to the leadership of the educator’s union at the state level. It’s work that means the world to me. I’ve gained a lot through my experience, professionally and personally.
This week, I had my last meeting as a Governing Board member. I purposely waited to the last minute to send in my resignation notice. The leaders of the organization always honor members who are leaving. I did not want to go through that. I am very uncomfortable standing in front of a group and being lauded. I don’t know why. I just am. I also don’t like goodbyes. And, in this case, I wasn’t ready for goodbye (but that’s a topic for another post). Of course, being the “on top of things” people they are at Education Minnesota, they had prepared for my departure “just in case.”
So, there I was, standing at the podium, listening to wonderful, positive comments written about me by other Board members being read. I teared up, of course. I’m a total sap. I’m sure my discomfort was obvious. After the statements about me were read, I had a chance to speak. All I could picture was a child on their first day of school wailing, “Noooooooooooooooooo!! I’m not ready to go!!!” and clinging to their parent’s leg. Since it would’ve been awkward to wrap myself around the podium and hang on for dear life, I acted like an adult and thanked the Board for helping me to learn the power of my own voice. Honestly, without my experience on the Board and working with all the incredibly dedicated leaders there, I wouldn’t have become someone others look to for direction on issues such as race and equity in education. I owe so much to so many.
I hope as I embark on my next adventure, I’ve left a legacy that invites others into the work and paves the way for them to take it further.