One of my greatest challenges as a new principal is how to balance time throughout the day. By nature I am very task oriented. When I was in the classroom, especially after I had kids, I didn’t linger in the hallways chit-chatting after school or during transitions. I was in my classroom trying to “get things done” so that I wouldn’t be taking a bunch of papers and work home with me. Even so, the bag of work came home as it still does now. It certainly is a constant struggle.
As we began this year, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my vision and mission. I knew it was important to be clear on my purpose and to keep that in mind so that when I got stressed I would remember why I was here and the difference I am trying to make. It’s funny, but I think I can be almost too purpose-driven at times.
Lately, I have found that I need to slow down and intentionally make time for people. I have a tendency to go from one agenda item to the next, looking at unexpected conversations as things that detract from my purpose, instead of as opportunities. Again, it’s all about balance. I can’t just sit around and talk to people all day, but I need to be intentionally present in those conversations so that I can take advantage of the opportunities to build relationships and get to know people on a personal level. That’s important.
Our staff members are more than just as a means to fulfilling our school mission. People come with their own sets of expectations, perceptions, hopes, dreams, and struggles. I need to see their humanity and not just the qualities related to their positions.