On Doing that Thing I Never Wanted to Do

Three years ago I was attending a local homeschooling conference with two of my friends. We walked by a booth called Classical Conversations. They had never had a booth at our local conference before and nobody knew anything about them. I had heard about them from a friend’s blog so had a very limited understanding – enough to make me go over to the booth, drag my two friends with me, and learn more.

As we stood there falling in love with the program I heard myself say to my two friends, “I really want this program to come to St. Louis, but I DO NOT WANT TO DIRECT IT! Please make sure I don’t sign up to direct it!”

My friends didn’t want to direct it either and, as it turned out, nobody in St. Louis did. So we went home thinking we just wouldn’t be able to participate. Over the next week we talked about it more and more. We decided we’d just do the program on our own, the three of us and not be an “official” group. Then a few more families wanted to join us. I realized that if we were going to grow we needed to become an official part of the organization and so…I signed up to direct it.

I do not have a director’s personality. I don’t enjoy hosting meetings where I have to “sell” the program to a prospective family. I was not willing to pull my evenings out of the family calendar for the sake of the program. And yet our campus grew. And grew. And grew. The first year we had 11 enrolled kids. Last year we had 54 enrolled kids and watched another campus form on the other side of town. This year we have 68 which is 4 above capacity and saw another campus spin off of ours to start their own.

The first year every single time I stood in front of the group to welcome them all to CC, which I did/do every week, I was a terrified mess. Somewhere inside of me I still am, but I don’t show it nearly as much. I still don’t think that the up-front leadership gig is my best fit and I am relieved every time the opening meeting is over and the kids are on their way to classes, but I’m amazed at the amount of growth that has taken place at our campus, both in the community itself as well as personally.

Now it’s time to hand the baton over to someone else. One of my friends who was with me at our first visit to the booth and who also DID NOT WANT TO DIRECT, is taking the reins from me next year and I’m confident that this new thing for her is the right move for our program and for her. She doesn’t know this yet, but she’s already a better director than I ever was. Great things are in store for this group.

It is a little hard to let it go, but it is less so knowing I’m leaving it in very capable and caring hands. Indeed, this new venture that we started together three years ago is heading in a great direction and will continue to do so without me.

Picture 4

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