As we enter spring, the workload for educators seems to increase and for good reason. The spring season is full of standardized testing and year-end activities within schools. Many educators are also busy planning for the upcoming school year (ex. budgets, master schedule, events etc..)while still working in the current year. In addition, it seems that spring is when everyone is just a little more tired, less willing to be patient and kindness is less apparent in our daily world. This all leads to the question……..”How do you respond to challenges”?
As I reflect upon my work through the years, the springtime in schools has its own pace. I have also learned not to get caught up in the never ending workload, stress, external demands upon our time and frustrations that dominate our thoughts. Yes, hard work is needed and there are times I get frustrated. However, I choose to focus on different thoughts that allow me to focus on students, continue to make positive connections with staff, challenge the status quo to make the school better and help others end their year in the best way possible. What are these thoughts you may wonder. I cannot take credit for them, as they simply are a collection of ideas I have learned from others. However, for me, they have been so important and allow me to respond to challenges in the following ways:
- Mindset – As a leader, you must be comfortable with criticism that others will launch at you. The key is to focus on your “mindset” and continue to be positive and challenge the status quo as it relates to building your school’s culture and moving it forward for students.
- Reflection – Find some moments and analyze what has worked this past year and what has not worked. This reflection will re-energize your mind/body and allow you to remember “your why” as you realize that there are so many more positives than negatives that occurred during the school year.
- Seize the Moment – View challenges that do arise as opportunities to grow and make a positive impact in that situation. As educators, we went into teaching and working with kids to make a difference. The true difference is not made when things are easy but rather when there is a difficult situation. Working through the difficult situations provides greater insight into your work and stimulates ideas about what is working and what needs to be adjusted.
- Serve – Lead – Inspire: As a leader, we must transfer our passion, optimism and beliefs to those we work with. It is so important to show your team how much you care, even more so during challenging times. Smile – have fun- show kindness and positivity you want in your school.
- Be the Model – As Jon Gordon shared in his book “The Energy Bus”, it is important to fuel your ride with positive energy; so in other words leaders are responsible for creating the positive, fun and welcoming environment that so many educators seek in spring. A person’s enthusiasm attracts more leaders and energizes them to perform their best for students.
In summary, during this busy spring season, I hope you find time to discover they ways you not only survive during the spring season, but thrive as a leader. How we work with others needs to have enthusiasm, empathy for others and empower others to take part in developing the culture. As a leader, I remind myself that I must:
I look forward to hearing from you about your thoughts related to how you thrive during the busy spring season. Comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org