The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Leadership Requires the Patience of a Gardener

Each year, the best tomatoes come from the garden. I’m never sure if it is because of the hard work that goes into the planting and weeding, the anticipation of waiting for the turn from green to red, or the pride of the work that went into what you and your family are enjoying that makes garden tomatoes so delicious. It’s likely a combination of all three. Grocery store produce is always faster and easier, but, it never tastes quite as good as what someone grows on their own.

As leaders, we’re all impatient for change. We want a quick trip to the grocery store for vegetables. However, a trip to the grocery store is not sustainable. We need to take the approach of the gardener in our work.

Gardening requires hundreds of small actions. Taken in isolation, none are particularly glamorous. Preparing soil, planting seeds, weeding, watering, then weeding, then watering, require patient dedication over the course of an entire growing season. It’s dirty work sometimes, and always requires care. Not tending the garden makes the end product unlikely, weeds overtake our plants and a lack of water causing them to wither.

Our work over the summer prepared our soil and planted the seeds of success. As leaders, it is our job to stay diligent and to do the important maintenance work, every day, to yield results. Getting into classrooms, providing feedback to teachers, building relationships with students and maintaining open lines of communication are all important tasks. With patience and diligence, we can do the work every day to yield extraordinary results.

Be a gardener.

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