The few weeks just before the new school year is my favorite time of year and for a host of reasons.
Summer is still in full swing but football is getting started. Vegetables taste better because they were grown in season rather than in a hydroponic hothouse.
But the biggest reason why this is my favorite time of year is because it’s when things start to come together for me on a professional level.
Like most educators, I spend my time off reflecting on the work we have done in the service of others and think about what we can do to improve. But as a principal entering year 3, this feeling of everything coming together has been different in a way.
The past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about my message – What am I going to share with staff during the first part of the new school year that will hopefully energize and inspire us to continue to make a difference. This year, it just wasn’t coming to me like it had in the past. Usually, what I hope to focus on just comes to me through a variety of sources – Reading articles or books, conversations with my wife, or while I’m out on a run.
But this time, the well of ideas seemed dry. It feels like I’ve had writer’s block for several weeks.
This had me panicking. What was wrong? Had I lost my passion? No – I still feel the same way I had, perhaps even more emboldened by my convictions and my beliefs about the possibilities we can create for kids.
So what was it with me?
This week, I found the answer.
Tuesday night, I had the privilege to attend the inaugural TEDxHilliard event and heard several amazing stories related to one’s drive to achieve goals and dreams — Amazing stories of overcoming adversity, empowering others, and finding purpose that filled the evening. Then, the next morning, I had the opportunity to attend the Ohio Innovative Learning Environments Conference in Hilliard and heard Jon Gordon speak about leading through love, kindness, and service to others.
The answer was that I had been focusing on the wrong thing.
I was looking for the wrong answer to the right purpose.
The “right purpose” in my opinion is being a servant leader to those within my “tribe” – My staff, my students, and the families that make up our community. I want to empower others to make a difference and to remove the roadblocks on the path of progress.
Deep down the answers to what my message should be were always there.
The answer is “love” (Isn’t it always?).
The answer is “hope“.
The answer is “yes“.
The answer is “care“.
They may seem simple, but these are the words that can inspire, the ones that empower, and the ones that build relationships.
I am so thankful for the folks who had the bravery and desire to share their story. I am re-energized and ready to take on the best school year yet!
Articles Worth Reading —
Upcoming Dates —
8 – KG Assessment/Screening Day
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