One of those notes that makes you pause, sit and read it again. I worried in my first year that I hadn’t made the transition to Leader. I held my breath waiting for a moment, an event that would move me from teacher to admin. Change can be oh so subtle. No moment, no date on the calendar I point to and say, “There, that’s when it happened.” I suppose I was thinking about the negative aspects of this change, as well. Us to them and all that. My worry turned to content as I realized I could always be a teacher. It’s not this or that. I think like a teacher, in that, the bulletins, meetings and school-wide events that initiate in my office are poured over with my teacher-eyes. Is this too much? Is it bad timing? Does it sound snarky? What does this look like for kids? Am I shifting a monkey when I should just address it? [Thank you Todd Whitaker!] Just as I could always be a teacher, I do know administrators who have left that part of their educator-self to fade. They Lead, they Manage, they Direct. And not to imply a negative connotation (although there’s plenty of room for it), they do not look with a teacher-eye, read with a teacher-eye, listen with a teacher-ear. My Valentine last week is a great reminder (and acknowledgement). And when my words sound like Lead/Manage/Direct, it’s a good indication that I’m feeling some extra stress or pressure or fatigue. Just like every other educator.
Our guidance counseling intern shared a piece from The Toolbox Project at a recent assembly and an acronym that I might find useful: BTA. Breathe, Think, Act. Stress/pressure/fatigue is no excuse for poor communication and leadership. But they are facts of the job. If I can remember to keep my teacher-self front and center, the rest will fall in line. So onward and upward! It’s going to be great!!