This summer was a lesson in humility and patience. Traditionally summer is a time to set new goals for learning, improving, tinkering, and rest in order to prepare and rejuvenate for the year ahead. Summer is a time to reset, take the long view, recalibrate, tackle larger projects. All of these were part of my to-do list. Now that we are a few days away from welcoming students back to school I see that the path this summer was far different from my vision. And in the end, I am grateful for the challenges and hard work that came with the different path because I believe that our school is in a much stronger place than if the summer had adhered to the path I mapped out.
The typical list of summer conferences that I like to attend did not happen due to a variety of reasons. In addition, I was tethered very close to home diligently looking for the right people to add to our staff (the last one just accepted yesterday, the day of New Hire Orientation--nothing like cutting it close!) Thus, PD this summer relied heavily on reading. In reviewing some of the titles that I read, I see how well a few of them tie together and unknowingly strengthened me this summer for the journey I undertook.
Redeeming Administration by Ann M. Garrido is a wonderful read for anyone in leadership and I envision drawing upon many of it's lessons this year. Another of my favorites from this summer is Exploiting Chaos by Jeremy Gutsche. These two reads really helped crystalize the "why" of my crazy summer journey.
opportunity presented itself to make some bold changes in one department where the curriculum had become staid. It was (and is) a great risk that the Admin team took to decide to completely renovate and re-imagine the department. Quite honestly, some of the faculty departures allowed us to be a bit bolder than had they not left. The challenge to fill three spots in the department was a bit daunting. But then we flexed our thinking, took note of the idea that "nothing is precious" and dove in to re-imagining. The result will play out this year and we are extremely excited about the potential. Yes, there will be challenges but we are implementing a growth mindset here and being willing to fail a bit to learn and grow. Had we stuck with the "that's the way we've always done it" mentality, or had I been insistent that my summer path was THE summer path, this would not have come about.
So as summer winds down and the excitement and energy of a new year approaches, I look back and see that there was a vision greater than my own at work here. I have opened the door a bit wider to challenge, I am re-focusing on the larger picture, I am less fearful of what appears to be chaos, and I know that there are many people on the journey with me. Here's to a great school year!