Shine on What We Love and Leave the Rest to Shadow

In these days of snow storms in April and massive upheaval in states due to low teacher wages, there is the potential to see more shadow than light right now.  We returned from "spring" break this week, and my deepest hope for restoration for my building tone was not exactly fulfilled. In truth, being bold and fearless continues to test my leadership and graceful resolve in these remaining days. The air inside the building feels just as cold as the blowing wind outside. That is just truth.

Yet I still feel compelled to write tonight about the importance for us all to seek to be grateful in all storms. Because I genuinely believe it and feel it. Gratitude is about framing the context to see what we love and allowing the rest to recede to shadow. 

So I had the unpleasant experience of a tough conversation that brought about deep pain with a staff member. It gave me an opportunity to share with that person just exactly how I see this person, which is an innovative, creative, and passionate educator.

So I am being challenged at many levels with misinformation and cold shoulders about a curriculum decision that was focused on students, data informed, and mission driven. It gives me an opportunity to engage in multiple discussions educating our students. Also, if as a leader, I am getting "blamed" for such a decision, I take it as a compliment. Smack my name on that every time.

So my children didn't want to get out of bed this morning and threw a few sassy snippets my way. It gave me the chance to lure them out with The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which elicited Broadway style dancing and singing while prepping breakfast and packing lunches before heading out the door. (Also prompted my daughter to tell me that I live like I am in the circus every day. Thank you for the compliment, and those who have seen the show understand why I think it is such.)

So my daily run was relegated to the evening when the roads had not been plowed---and it's APRIL! My leg was healthy enough to allow me an invigorating three miles, and the energy and reflection provided a beautiful opportunity to reflect upon this day.

There are myriad re-frames here. The point is to do that at the end of each day and throughout to seek that light for ourselves. My message in the morning to my staff is about legacy and finishing strong. In it, I share how many days I have left. Not because I want to perpetuate a countdown. It is because when your days are numbered, you make them count. And I would argue that in education, they are numbered every year. Our students only get these roughly 180 days to learn what they need for this year in their lives. If we live in this way, framing the context every day, maybe we would all see a lot more light and allow a lot more to recede into shadow.


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