On kind words & always being a teacher.

On Friday, I received the BEST Valentine.photo (3)

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!!


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