In my previous blog entry, I shared some specifics of an email correspondence between myself and a staff member. We had discussed what important things needed to be fixed at Union Middle School. I shared with them a list but I didn't feel complete in my response.
To be blunt, the "fixit list" didn't feel like an all-inclusive vision of what I wanted to truly share and what I hoped to build as the principal of Union Middle School.
And as I ended my email to this staff member, I quickly sent a second follow up communication. It wasn't about fixing everything... instead it had a list of things that I, as a the site principal, wished our students, our parents, our staff, and our school community knew.
It was about what I wished for.
I shared that...
I wished everyone knew how much work our front office staff and administrative team put into helping make the school day at Union Middle run as smoothly as possible.
I wished everyone knew how much I appreciated the hard efforts of our staff and the work they do on a daily basis with our kids.
I wished our students knew how all of the adults at Union Middle are on their side and working to best support them during their middle school years.
I wished our teaching staff knew how much I value their positive interactions with our students.
I wished our teaching staff knew how relentlessly I support, highlight, and brag to our parents, our district office, and our school community about the work I see that they put into their lesson design and classroom experience, all with the focus on their students.
I wished that our students would trust the adults on our campus a bit more, that they would trust that we are here to help them, to listen, and to best support them grow into the amazing young adults they're destined to be.
I wished that our parents knew how much we treasured having their students during the school day, how much joy they brought us, and how much we recognized even the smallest bits of their academic and social progress.
I wished that everyone knew how much I enjoyed coming to work each and every day. (Disclaimer: I have four kids.)
I wished that our staff could see our administrative team as an ally, no matter the situation.
And I wished that our parent community, our students, our staff, and our school community knew that just because I disagreed with something they believed in and spoke up for, it didn't mean that my decision to go in a different direction was personal. It never is. It just means that I, as principal, have a different vision on how to best support our students and school community.
At the end of the day, I'm the principal and I have to make some really hard decisions. It may anger a few community members, but I make every decision with the "what's best for our kids? what's best for our school community" in mind.
I wish everyone understood that we put kids first, no matter what.
I wish everyone trusted in the work we're doing.
And I wish the best for everyone over the upcoming holiday breaks and sprints of school days in-between.
If you're a student, be nice to your parents and don't forget to thank your teachers.
If you're a parent, be certain to give a bit of grace to your student and consider sending a nice message to a staff member who has helped make the middle school journey a bit less hectic.
If you're an educator, don't forget to give your students a second chance and to lead with trust and best intentions in your interactions with your peers and parent community.
If you're an administrator, don't forget to realize how blessed you are to work with your silly students, talented teachers, and supportive parents -- you can't fix everything but you can recognize how wonderful so many things truly are.
That's all I wish.