Monday, July 3, 2017

I was not Looking for Change

It's change, really.  That's what new is all about.  Change.  For some it happens regularly, for others not regularly enough.  I happen to fall into the former category, where change comes about not as a result of some thing that just happens to you and you don't see it coming, but rather an intentional, sweeping movement that is planned and thought out (not always with identified results, but thought out nonetheless) and, therefore, meant to be.

Change - whether intentional or consequential, planned or just part of life's course - is always meant to be; it's a part of life, a part of how things naturally happen.  Without it we would not grow, would not attain goals, would not, well... change.

And yet, even though we know it is coming, and we know it helps us to grow and to stretch, and we understand the consequences of not changing when times call for something different, it is hard.

This time for me, however, I was not looking for change.  It came for me.

I did not choose to move on,
I was happy
and successful
and content
and challenged
right where I was at.

But as my good friend Koriann writes to me, in her reflection at the end of the school year,
It was time for change "... because the time is right and he is called."

Those words stuck with me, sunk into me, sat with me and next to me for a long while.

As I begin something new - this exciting new opportunity where I will have the privilege of being the principal of a high school I know of only from the perspective of a parent, as it is the school my kids attend - I know and understand that this is the path.  The time was right, and as difficult as it was to say goodbye, and to say thank you to those who have meant so much to me and who have taught me so much about myself as an educator and as a person, this is still the right choice for me and I will only grow because of it.  It is intentional, sweeping, new, meant to be.  It is Change.  And I am so very grateful.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

#OneWord2017

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Instead of a New Year resolution this year, I am embracing #OneWord2017 to encompass my goals, both personally and professionally.


As I think of my One Word, so many others come to mind; I can’t pick just one.  But I will. Because that is the challenge. So it is kind of like a resolution - those things we resolve to do as the New Year rolls around and we struggle to think of something we will promise ourselves and others to do, to stick to, because it is the New Year.  And then we will feel bad about ourselves sometime around March or April because we didn’t stick to it.  We forgot.  We got busy.  There was too much going on. Life got in the way.


One Word we can do. One Word is just, well… One Word.  Easy to remember. Easy to commit to. Easy to remind ourselves of on a daily basis.  It’s just after all, One Word.  


So I begin the quest to find the word - the One Word that will define me in 2017. It must be something simple. It must be applicable to my professional and my personal life - something people can feel, something others can really acknowledge that, upon being in my presence, they understood.  So here is my list.  This is where I need to begin:


Live
Pause
Reflect
Commit
Presence
Support
Encourage
Motivate
Inspire
Culture
Opportunity
Embrace
Shine
Climb
Relentless
Pursue
Hope
Progress


This is my list.  And after much thought and consideration, I begin to think that maybe my word is not in this list. It should be jumping out at me, SCREAMING at me, making me understand that THIS IS MY WORD!  Take it and RUN with it! Make others believe!
But it’s not, and I have to begin anew.  Or do I?


Because there it was, in the midst of the words I had written:

Believe. The One Word that will define my 2017.  


I Believe in the power of teachers to motivate and encourage their students to be the best they can be.
I Believe in the ability of students to rise above our expectations of them and shine like the brightest stars.
I Believe in myself, and my capacity to see and understand the needs of my teachers, students, community, and family.
I will DO what I BELIEVE in with confidence!
I Hold This to be True: That we can accomplish whatever we put our minds to because of our BELIEF in one another and in ourselves.  


So think about it.  Here is your challenge: Instead of making a list of resolutions this year, pick One Word that defines your goals, dreams, ambitions and who you want to be in 2017.  I’m thinking this might be a challenge for students as well… Who’s up for this?  Could be a great whole-school project, and an opportunity to get creative!


Looking forward to hearing your #OneWord2017!