It is a contrast of great proportions. I’m sitting here on a Saturday in the calm of my home office, three feet from a window with a view of tiny snow flakes slowly making a sideways trek to the ground. Meanwhile, I’m plowing through my task manager in a vain attempt to get caught up on a week of work. Even in a lovely town such as Hopkinton that I work in, we are feeling the force of family turmoil and of understandable parent angst of the pressure the world throws down upon us.
I try to stay above the fray of that weight for my own health, and so I don’t become a carrier of that stress toward my staff. While the saying is slightly arrogant, Todd Whitaker isn’t far from the truth when he says, When the Principal sneezes, the whole school gets a cold. But, when times change, there’s an opportunity for growth and new learning. While we do learn some things through osmosis, most deep knowledge occurs through reflection. The tough part is that many of our public schools are facing new challenges which often result in a less relaxed school environment than in previous years and in turn, a responsibility on the part of the administrator to keep the staff upbeat.
As I said to one of my teachers this week, what we do is important work. I know that the staff is looking at me for encouragement and a smile, much more than my advice on an instructional strategy. I’m going to continue working on that and come to work every day ready to take on the challenges, staying just a tad above the fray.