In moments of frustration and feeling powerless during the beginning of the pandemic, I remember wondering if I had what it takes to lead when I have no idea what the future would look like. I hoped that I would be able to be the leader my staff deserved even though it felt like I was leading blind. Then, I slap some sense into myself and set out to do what I always set out to do…to grab ahold of a challenge and not only rise to it, but to become better because of it.
I was blessed to attend the National Association for Elementary Principals (NAESP) conference in Chicago this week. It was a wonderful opportunity to dive into professional learning and connecting with incredible educators from across the country. It felt like a shot in the arm at just the right time. The quote above is from the closing session with author Dan Heath, and as I sit here reflecting on the conference and all I learned this past year, I continue to come back to this quote. Let’s read Dan’s words again.
They are watching us. Everything we do and don’t do. Everything we say and how we say it. What is your staff catching from you? What are students catching?
This past year, our staff wasn’t just a school staff, they were a superhero squad. I was part of that squad, and I knew that these three things were essential and they are definitely traveling with me into the 2021-2022 school year:
We knew these three things before the pandemic, we just know it so much better now. Let’s not go back to the way things were, let’s embrace all we learned this past year and make the future even better for our kids and for each other. What are your three biggest takeaways from this past school year? What do you NEVER want to go back to “normal”?
At our very first staff collaboration time this school year, we will each reflect on three ways we supported each other during the pandemic that we want to make sure we continue to do. We know that the ripple effect from the trauma the pandemic caused with continue to challenge us. If we approach the school year knowing that our colleagues have our back always, we can overcome any challenge because we won’t just be colleagues, we will be a superhero squad again. Together. Feel free to download this “Superhero Squad” PDF to do this activity with your staff.