I am very fortunate in my life. Not only do I get to work in the best field in the world, I also get the opportunity to work with some pretty wonderful folk who do everything they can to make kids successful. Day in and day out, these people amaze me in the way that they engage with kids, working diligently to ensure that they are safe, loved and learning. It doesn’t get much better than that. I feel like as long as we have these wonderful teachers and principals in our schools, our future is in good hands.
Here’s something that makes some people even more special in my eyes. When you complement them, they recognize that they are simply part of a team. It would be easy for them to bask in the glory of their success. Kids adore them, parents admire them, they are fulfilled in their hearts. The best leaders do something extra special instead, they recognize that they are part of a bigger force affecting the lives of kids. Let me give you two examples to drive home this point.
- One of our schools just had outrageously strong Accountability Pillars. For those of you not familiar with what those are, in Alberta, schools get an annual report which compiles their survey data from all stakeholders, kids, staff and parents, as well as their government exams results. This particular school rated above 94% in all areas measured. In all my career I have NEVER seen such results – NEVER. I contacted the administrative team at the school and both the Principal and Assistant Principal were exceptionally quick to honor the hard work of their staff and the wonderful families that made up their school. I was humbled by their humility. It was exceptional. Not once did they take credit. They were proud but they were proud of their team.
- I had the privilege of touring a school in another division that was doing amazing things. They had a very tough demographic in regards to transiency and poverty and yet were bending over backwards to have as much impact on the lives of the kids in their care as they could for 6 hours a day. They had meal programs, multiple supports from outside agencies and their was love in every interaction between the kids and the staff. They truly got the calling of the profession. I praised the Principal who was taking me on the tour. The hard work and love this must of taken to build was overwhelming. The principal thanked me for the praise she so justly deserved but was quick to say she was simply building on the great work the admin team before her had accomplished. She was standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before her. Their early work was why her team could build what they had built. She was one of the most gracious people I have ever met. I was humbled.
So, as I read and listen to the great works being done around me by exceptionally capable people, I continue to be appreciative of their efforts, but I also acknowledge that there is a team of people behind that person who support them and have helped build the great school with them Some of them they have never even met, they came 20 years before the current leaders were ever even there. The foundations were laid well before their time.
I admire those who remember that. We do not build in isolation, we build in team and with the groundwork laid by those before us.
Keep on learning . . . live graciously.