These last couple of weeks have been tough. Not just that “grit your teeth and move through it” kind of tough. It has been really tough.
Leaders are tired, worried, overwhelmed, and feeling uncertain. Let me be perfectly clear when I say it has nothing to do with their skill or their will. It has everything to do with their hearts.
As we move forward in this 2020-2021 school year, things are different. Very different. Yet, at the end of the day, one thing remains constant:
Students are counting on us.
As I work with these leaders, I am reminded of my own journey as a principal. I am reminded of my own inner struggles as I doubted my next steps. Am I making the right decision? Will this really make a difference? Why can’t I figure this out? The list goes on and on.
Tresa Dunbar, Principal of Nash School in Chicago, IL and I were given an opportunity to look at ourselves as leaders through the lens of a documentary. In partnership with the Wallace Foundation, Nomadic Pictures produced, The Principal Story. The original goal was to share a day in the life of a principal as the instructional leader. The reality was that the film showcases much more than the instructional leadership side of the work. See for yourself by checking out this clip below:
You see, while this was filmed more than a decade ago (yikes I’m old), the message that Tresa shares is still the same:
We have to be better for these kids and it’s not always about academics.
– Tresa Dunbar
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it over and over again – what you are doing is heroic. Remember that. And when times are tough, don’t get stuck. While you are forging ahead, pause to look back and see how far you have come.
Don’t forget – even though you are a hero, you don’t have to do this alone. As Brene Brown says:
Vulnerability is not winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome.
– Brene Brown
Show up. But don’t do this alone. Connect with your colleagues. Reach out to your Focused Schools’ coach. Rely on your ILT.
And, above all else, remember that you can’t go wrong if you make decisions that are in the best interest of …
This is hard work, because it is heart work.