When I was twenty-nine years old, I became principal of a small all-grade school in Buchans, Newfoundland. I loved many things about this little school, especially its all grade nature. Having the Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students under the same roof created an atmosphere where everyone knew and looked after each other, making the school feel like a family. It was a microcosm of the communities whose children we taught.
One of the least pleasant things about the job was the principals' meetings which I attended. However I learned a great deal at these meetings about policy and administration of the school which were not my natural strengths or knowledge base at that time.
There were few women at these meetings and I was the youngest present. Sitting there listening to the other principals and school board personnel, I knew that I needed to have more education. I certainly did not have the confidence to speak up during the meetings. Often I asked questions for clarification afterwards. I decided that a Master's degree might give me the knowledge I needed to be a better educational administrator.
The next year I started a Master's program and soon realized that a degree in Educational Administration was not for me. I remember sitting in a class on educational finance and thinking that I had no interest in this topic. I wanted to know the amount per pupil I had to spend on programs, more practical and people-centered concerns, rather than the administrative issues at work behind the scenes. I switched to Educational Counseling.
But that is another story...