OK – here I am back again. Educators are lucky – we get two New Years – January and August. This August is a milestone new year for my family – my sons start high school and middle school, and I start my second year as Assistant Principal at my current school, eighth year all together.
As with every new year I get, I have been reflecting and making resolutions, or goals for myself. I am hereby typing them up and putting them on this blog in an attempt to hold myself to them.
- Blog, blog, blog. As an educator I know the power of reflection in learning, but with a busy job and family life, it is hard to take the time. I like to write, however, and I am a perfectionist, so I resist the public nature of blogging unless I can take a considerable amount of time to write it perfectly – time I don’t have in my day. This new year, I will continue to blog and share my ideas and thoughts without worrying if it is the best piece of writing I’ve ever done. Ask me what I’m writing.
- One-to-one conversations with staff members. This year my District Leadership Team started out by reading and working through aspects of Crucial Conversations.One thing that resonated with me was the idea of your fight or flight response to difficult situations. The text that you ignore, the email unsent, or the phone call not answered – those all give you an idea about which conversations are crucial to have. This new year I will reach out to all staff members, even the ones with whom I may have had difficult conversations. I will push my “reset” button, and approach them with an honest stance of inquiry, trying to get to the root of their concern. As Robert Kegan says, behind every complaint is a commitment. I commit to finding and surfacing those commitments that every teacher brings to his or her job.
- Get out of my office. I have heard on Twitter about Principals and school administrators actually setting up their desks in the hallway to demonstrate openness and accessibility. I’m not sure I’m there quite yet, but the next best thing is getting my self out into the hallways to demonstrate openness and accessibility. Every year I vow to get into classrooms more, and every year I go days without visiting one class. That has to stop. This will only happen if I remember to think about tasks in terms of urgency and importance, not just the former.
I have many more new year’s resolutions this August, both professionally and personally. Right now, however, I have run out of time but will still post this imperfect blog. I have important matters to tend to.