We are all on a journey. But sometimes we have to force ourselves to continue the journey. Other times we have to set out on a journey on our own. And still other times, we are asked to begin a journey but must find our own path.
The journey will be daunting. If it isn’t we’re not pushing ourselves enough. Along the way, it’s easy to get discouraged. Often times we wonder when we will arrive; when will our journey end. However, as I’ve traveled along the twist and turns of my journey, I’ve learned that there is no destination. In fact, this week I came to a new realization that has energized me: I HAVEN’T ARRIVED AND I NEVER WILL.
How can this energize me, you may ask? It’s simple, this realization helped me be comfortable with knowing that I will never stop growing and learning. The great things I do today or tomorrow will help catapult me to new challenges and opportunities tomorrow. The failures and struggles of today will help me reflect and grow so I handle challenging situations differently tomorrow. I haven’t arrived, and I never will. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and learning with each step I take. That’s what it means to be on a journey. And you-you haven’t arrived either and you never will. Enjoy the journey. Learn from it. And, never stop.
Here is your staff update for February 24th.
“If you permit it, you promote it.” Focus3 posted this quote and picture on their Facebook page earlier in the week. After I read the quote, I found myself reflecting on the words and the things that I permit.
There are many things that I permit that I’m happy to also promote. I permit risk taking, failing, dreaming big, and not asking permission to try new things. I permit teachers to step up as leaders, as well as collaboration and innovative thinking among other things. It is my pleasure to promote these things. It would be easy to simply pat myself on the back for permitting such a culture, but instead I have forced myself to reflect on the things that I permit that I may not be so proud to promote. Often times as leaders, colleagues and friends we let certain things go because we don’t want to ruffle feathers, rock boats or make others feel uncomfortable. But, deep down we all know that there are things we’re permitting that we shouldn’t be promoting.
I encourage you to join me in the process of truly and honestly reflecting on the things you permit. I ask you to think about the things that occur in your classroom or school that are out of alignment with your culture.
What do you do when you’re faced with things that make you feel uncomfortable? Do you do nothing? Do you step up and address it?
On our journey to be ELITE we must remember that when we see things in our culture that are out of alignment we must not permit it. We must step up and do something about it. It's not easy, it's not comfortable but it's necessary as you work to keep your culture strong. If we permit it, we promote it.
Here is your staff update for February 16.
Relationships. As educators we often talk about the importance of building relationships with children and families. We work hard at the beginning of the school year to get to know our students. We have kids and parents fill out surveys. We have students share pictures of their families and tell about themselves. Then, the hustle and bustle of the school year takes over. And, certainly not on purpose, it can be very easy for relationships to be pushed to the wayside.
We are faced with state mandates, standardized tests, SLOs, RTI, data team meetings, professional development sessions, teacher evaluations, progress reports, parent teacher conferences and much more. Let’s be honest, we get busy and something has to give, right? We are laser focused on helping our students grow and succeed. We want them to be the best they can be. But, we must remember that we cannot forsake relationships with our students and their families in the midst of everything else that we’re expected to accomplish during the school year.
Next week, my teachers and I embark on a week of parent teacher conferences. This can be a stressful time for teachers as they prepare for 25 to 30 conferences with parents. However, it is important that we don’t lose sight of how important these meetings are to families and how crucial they can be for educators as we continue to build a bridge between school and home. As we move into conference week, I encourage us to remember:
As the great Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Here is your staff update for February 10th.
I’ve always believed in the power of words. I enjoy writing and reading. I love to see the joy on children’s faces when they discover that they can pick up a book at read it all by themselves. But, over the past few years I’ve realized the power of One Word. That’s right, the power of how one word can actually change your life.
Four years ago, I read One Word That Will Change Your Life and that’s exactly what happened. A few weeks ago in my blog, I shared my One Word for 2017-JOURNEY. This word is causing me to reflect more than ever. I’ve been reflecting on my journey so far and on what I want the next steps in my journey to be. As I’ve reflected I’ve realized just how much my words have changed my life. Think about it, in four years I’ve chosen four words; just four words! And, when I look back over those four years I can cite hundreds of specific examples of how my life changed because of those four little words.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to pick a word for 2017. It’s not too late and it can truly change your life.
Here is a list of my past words:
This was my first word. When I chose it I was just learning about twitter and the power of building a professional learning network. Since choosing this word I’ve collaborated with educators and authors from across the world. I’ve made connections that have helped me grow professionally and personally.
Thoughtful was my most difficult word. I needed it to be my word though. This word came at a time when I was overwhelmed with the quantity of decisions I had to make every day in my role as a building principal, wife and mother of four. I felt that I was making quick decisions to “get things off my plate”. I needed to remind myself to take a step back and really think things through. This word also taught me about failure. I struggled to be thoughtful. I failed multiple times a day. I still have to work on giving myself permission to think things through. This word helped me learn more about myself and how I handle stress-I’m still working on this one.
Celebrate was my most fun word! I had the best time celebrating all of the greatness around me. This word taught me how important it is to take time to let people know how much they are appreciated. This word helped me strengthen the relationships I had with people and also helped me connect with colleagues, family and friends on a deeper level.
I am already loving my word for this year. I can’t wait to see how this word changes my life.
So-what’s your word?
Over the next few weeks I challenge you to “look in, look up, and look out” and discover your One Word. After you discover it, you must share it. In a few weeks we will come together as a staff to share our words and begin to live our words.
“Look in” to prepare your heart for your word.
“Look up” to discover your word.
“Look out” to live your word.
Here is your staff update for February 3.