Let’s be clear, school hasn’t started, teachers and not expected to be working (even though we all know that they are…whether or not they’re in the building), and it would be reasonable for school to be a relatively quite place at the moment. Now, let’s be real…my teacher-partners are working feverishly! My building is a buzz with activity. Every day, I have colleague’s e-mail, call, or text asking if they can, “just come in for a few hours.” They’re beside themselves with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming school year. Their brains are being bombarded by ideas and they’re ready to dig into teaching and learning!
I’m committed to sharing that readiness and enthusiasm. I’m committed to supporting and encouraging my colleagues as they work at the most important job in our school community…teaching children! Below are some thoughts/ideas about how I intend to fulfill that commitment.
I’m going to say “yes” a lot! Teachers are experts and professionals. Not only have they earned respect for that through their hard work and dedication, but also their expertise and professionalism is an invaluable resource to the fulfillment of our individual and collective goals. We need teacher’s ideas in order to thrive. We need those ideas to be developed and implemented! We need teachers to know that they are valued, and that their contributions are meaningful and very much appreciated!
I’m going to listen intently. Listening and leadership go together like peanut butter and jelly! I’m going to work hard to make sure that the people I serve never feel like there’s something going on that’s more important than they are. Thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns exist along a spectrum. Some seem momentous and others seem minuscule. If you remove the “seem” part, anything important enough to bring up should be considered momentous.
I am only myself. I can’t read minds and I can’t know just how someone else feels, but I can intentionally value each stakeholder. And I can express that value by listening with compassion and authenticity. If someone wonders where her pencil sharpener is, it’s because knowing where her pencil sharpener is, is important to her. I will work hard to listen to and address every question, concern, thought, and idea that comes my way.
Service Oriented Host
I will make myself available. I’m going to focus on to not turning people away. I’m going to be welcoming. I need people to know that they can approach me. Serving a diverse community comes along with meeting a diverse range of needs. Some can be anticipated and other can’t. Students, teachers, and all other stakeholders can become distracted by the multitude of urgencies that stream into our lives during the school year. I believe that leadership is in large part about service, and that quality services demands an ability to host those one serves with genuine joy, compassion, and an eye on building relationships. I plan to continue focusing on and developing my service skills with every interaction.
“Yes” is not always an option. Availably is not always available. And, even though Dr. Covey might like it, urgency does occasionally trump importance. I’m going to work at being an excellent collaborator by communicating effectively, regularly evaluating my communication skills and strategies, and adjusting as needed. Sometimes ideas take time to develop. Sometime relationships go through ups and downs. Sometimes challenges present that cause us to question. I think it’s all good! And I think that with effective communication, I can help to foster and perpetuate a culture in which all stakeholders understand and appreciate the importance I place on the partnerships we engaged in, even through the most intense and difficult challenges that we face. The key is that we will face them together. I am wholeheartedly committed to it.
Live. Learn. Lead.
Dream Big. Work Hard. Be Well.