Saying Goodbye to the Group

Recently, I left a team I was a part of for a very long time. I worked at or was involved with the same Montessori school for eleven years. During the final five-and-a-half years I served as the Associate Director of the school during a time of significant growth and change for the organization. There is no doubt that this job changed my life in massive ways that are impossible to describe in any meaningful way.

That job was central to my identity for many years and my dedication to the organization was unwavering. I was part of a team that made a lot of positive changes and had a lot of fun doing it. I couldn’t have asked for better working conditions. Yet, about a year ago a feeling began to sink in around me and I knew I was going to have to leave.

The school was a wonderful place to work full of inspiring educators and incredible children and families. I had led several major projects that truly changed the organization permanently. As those projects began to wind down, I knew I would not be able to continue being challenged in my role. I knew that things about the culture and how decisions were made and implemented that once caused me minor irritation now caused me serious frustration. By the middle of winter there was no avoiding it, I had to leave.

As I have studied communication in early childhood settings, I have learned that there are formal processes for how a team is formed, gets work done, and eventually dissolves. My departure didn’t really have a formal adjourning. We had a party with a funny (I thought it was hysterical) cake, but that is about it.

Cake

While I’m confident that I made the right decision and I am super excited about starting my own educational consulting company and spending more time with my family, I’m also aware that I have some unresolved feelings and questions around my departure. I wonder if there were more of a formal adjournment to my long-time position there, I would be experiencing a higher level of closure. I now know how to pursue such closure at the end of my next team effort and I will be able to foster a culture where it is possible. Clearly, it is an important part of the life cycle of a team.

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~ by vegucationmama on October 12, 2014.

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