Monday, August 5, 2013

I Believe

     The theme at my school this year is "I Believe."  My principal asked me to create a presentation for the faculty sharing my core beliefs about my role in the school, our students, the teachers and myself.  Thinking it would be easy, I agreed.  Then I spent two weeks trying to decipher what I believe.  It seemed so easy in the abstract.  After all, I live my beliefs every day, or so I thought.
     I realized that this request was more than just an exercise for welcoming back our teachers and kicking off the year's theme.  The reflection made me truly look at what I believe and why I do the things I do.
     After sharing my presentation with the staff, a funny thing happened.  Suddenly teachers were coming to my office, just to talk.  They began sharing their stories and looking at ways to implement our shared visions.  I was no longer just the assistant principal.  I was a person they knew and understood.  The atmosphere became charged and excited.
     I am not so naive to believe that this is due to what I believe.  The change is from understanding the person behind the title.  It is feeling a connection and sharing our visions of a future for our students.  It also comes from the reflection that aligns our vision to our daily actions so we are able to "walk the talk."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Snap Judgements

     My teacher accused me of cheating this week.  I didn't.  He didn't ask me about it.  He just gave me a zero.  The worst part was when he wrote he expected better from me.  I haven't cheated since 6th grade and felt so guilty I swore I would never do it again.  I have been judged and labeled.  I know I am innocent, but the judgement and label still hurt.
     As an administrator it is easy to make snap judgements and assume I know who is at fault.  It's easy to believe that I know the whole story without asking questions and truly wanting to know the answers.   It's easy to hand out a punishment or consequence and move on to the next situation.  Situations come up so fast some days, snap decisions feel necessary.  This situation reminds me how hard it is for all of us to be judged, labeled, and punished without having a voice to tell our story.  We deserve better than that, especially from the adults in our lives.