You, then me.
Since being appointed Principal, there have been plenty of items that have kept me awake at night with worry. Budget reductions, scheduling, staffing issues, the pressures of being new, and the hundreds of small administrative items that get in the way of real leadership have weighed heavily on my mind.
Then, the staff returned……..
At our opening staff meeting, we conducted an activity where teachers were asked what they were worried about. While some of their concerns were similar to my own, there were some challenges that did not appear on my list. I realized my worries are not as significant to those teaching at our school. Reflecting on this and on my commitment to our staff, I realized my worries had to move down on my priority list.
Then, the kids came back to school………
At our student walk through two young ladies who had just picked up their schedules discovered they were students on the same team. As they shrieked with happiness, I realized that my concerns, while important to me, are not important to our students. Reflecting on this and on my ultimate professional commitment to our students, my worries had to move even further down the list.
For that reason, I’ve spent my time this week helping with locker combinations, finding and returning lost lunch boxes, giving tours to new students, and even making an early morning visit to a bus stop where a student wasn’t feeling comfortable. I’ve been reassuring parents their children with medical needs will be cared for, or making certain they know their “first middle schooler” will be safe. I’ve been trying to creatively find ways to protect the time of our teachers, doing my best to show how much I value all of our staff, and getting them the supplies they need to innovate and engage our students.
Still carrying my own worries? You bet. But making sure our students, parents, and staff are taken care of must always come before what’s weighing on me.