As part of the #SAVMP project this week George Couros encouraged us on an exercise that at first felt like a guilty privilege. It is just like when a school has DROP (Drop Everything and Read) but it is called Close the Door (Drop Everything) and reflect for a few minutes, then blog your reflections. At first this felt like a guilty pleasure, but I am finding this might be an appointment I make with myself each week for about 15 minutes. I felt immediately centered and I could think a complete thought without any interruption.
Today, I did just that, I closed the door. As I am an experienced principal in a new setting I have been trying to shake my foundation of leadership and get reconnected with forward-thinking ideas for my faculty and students. I find myself getting distracted by messages, emails, tweets, teachers who ask “Do you have a minute?”, meetings, and at times the mundane. I know I need to keep reminding myself of my theme, my relationships and the possibilities. This is more art than science.
I know caring is part of being an exemplary leader and there are many ways to show I care about my students, my teachers, my custodians, and my community. My biggest care is making a difference in the world. I would like to see my students to look beyond themselves. As they drive to school and pass a homeless shelter I would like for them to pause and think about how they could contribute to a better community, country and world. What does it mean to make a difference? Could I begin composting at my house? My school? As a citizen of this Earth I would make less of a footprint. When I use perfumed laundry detergent for my clothes have I ever thought the impact that might have on our watershed that touches the Chesapeake Bay? the ocean? If plant more trees and flowers or meadow grasses would that help with the pollution in Washington D.C.? the U.S.? China? If I help produce better citizens of this Earth I have helped bring about change one student at a time.These are just some of the deep thoughts I have when my head hits the pillow at night.