As we all get ready to start a new school year, I couldn’t help but get the biggest kick out of my staff today. I love them; every single one of them. You might be expecting a list of the top reason why I love them, but I have one story that perfectly sums up everything they stand for and it starts with a staff t-shirt…
Last May, I had this “great” idea that I would get the whole staff to give ideas about what to put on our staff shirt so that we could all wear the shirts to our district’s convocation ceremony on August 18th. So, I asked everyone to suggest ideas and I put everyone’s ideas into a Google form so the whole staff could vote on their favorite. The winner was chosen and I made an order form. Then…something happened that had NEVER, EVER happened before! People started to complain, some didn’t like the shirt idea while others did; some weren’t going to order shirts---it was just kind of weird. I was shocked. I remember thinking that maybe it was because it was the end of the year and this staff, who always works together to make really tough decisions, was just too worn out to do one more thing. So, we got a few new suggestions and had a revote. Still we had no luck making everyone happy. I was puzzled. So, I decided to make the final decision about the shirts. We made a new order form, the whole staff happily ordered shirts and we moved on.
Summer came and then in the blink of an eye it was time to begin thinking about the first day of school. In an email to the staff I asked if anyone was interested in wearing our shirts to Meet the Teacher Night in addition to our convocation ceremony. I got a couple of replies; no one really seemed to care. So I forgot about the email and assumed that teachers would do whatever they wanted.
And then today, the day before Meet the Teacher Night, everyone started emailing and stopping in my office to ask about the shirts.
Are we wearing them tomorrow AND Monday?
Are we just wearing them Monday?
What’s going on with these shirts?
It went on and on, until all of a sudden in dawned on me! This staff doesn’t need to be bothered with MINOR DECISIONS! IT’S MY JOB TO MAKE THESE KINDS OF DECISIONS SO THEY CAN DO THE IMPORTANT WORK.
My staff works so well together all school year. They make tough decisions that are best for kids every day. They NEVER, EVER complain. They never worry about what is best for them, but they always consider what is best for kids. I have had so many great laughs about the saga of the t-shirt today. And, the irony of it is that the shirt says it all--
At J.W. Reason we do what is best for kids.
Lesson learned-I’ll make the minor decisions and leave the really important ones to my amazing staff who I love so much!
I hope my blog posts inspire risk taking and new ways of thinking. I hope to connect with other educators on our journey to always do what's best for children.