Thursday, August 11, 2011


A lot has changed since my last post:

1.) I accepted a new position in my hometown of Washington, Iowa.
2.) Another school year was closed out.  I love the enthusiasm and energy the last month brings.
3.) I put my house up for sale (still for sale)
4.) I moved my family into my parents basement until our house sells.
5.) Most of you know the effort it takes to learn a new position in any position you take.

All these are excuses that I have created to make myself feel better for letting my blog go dormant for three months....

Well, on to the meat and potatoes of my thoughts from the last few months.  I'm not sure how many of you have left a position of leadership, but it is a very surreal experience.  When you pump your blood, sweat, and sleepless nights into a school, it is crazy to all of a sudden have the thought that you will no longer be living out the love for the school.  Hard to explain but such an unusual feeling. 

Fast forward to hiring someone for the job you have devoted your life to, and that really gets interesting. One quick revelation was that a school leader is somewhat insignificant.  We just aren't as cool or important as we think we are.  The new leader is hired, you show them the ropes, and you go off on your way.  You will always hold the experience and the people close but you know that the sun comes up for the next school year.  Let me say it, "THE SUN DOES NOT RISE OR FALL ON WHETHER OR NOT THE  PRINCIPAL IS THERE."  Why is this important:

Creating shared leadership and vision is essential.   
You may leave, but many staff will stay forever as well as initiatives, values, and culture.  I need to get better at:
1.) Creating and fostering teacher leadership.
2.) Simplifying initiatives so they are sustainable and clear.
3.) Limiting initiatives to make amount manageable to sustain.
4.) Ensuring the values of the school are shared by all, what makes the school tick.

Just remember as you start the year, it isn't all about you...and if it is, good luck sustaining a lasting school environment.

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