Many educators have been reflecting on 2014 and making plans for 2015. In doing so, many have chosen one (or more) word to be their focus for this year. This word reflects what they feel is most important in their own growth – both personally and professionally – for 2015.
When I reflect on 2014 and look ahead at the new year, one word keeps coming to mind as the most important word for me – both personally and professionally.
The relationships I focus on will be the key to my fulfillment in all aspects of my life for this year ahead. These relationship will help ground me and help move me forward at the same time.
Professionally, I am starting a new job in a new school district, so relationships will be extremely important to me. The new relationships I forge with the staff, students, and parents this year will set the stage for our continued work together in the upcoming years.
Parents need to know that I care for their kids. It is imperative for me that they understand that I will need their support and their guidance about their children in order to best meet their needs. We can only do that together.
Our students also need to know that I care about them and that they can always come to me if they have an issue or just need a quiet place to go to regroup. I want our students to learn that I can be that “safe” zone for them.
Teachers and Support Staff
Developing strong, open, honest, and caring relationships with staff are so important to me. Without truly understanding who they are as people and as professionals, I can not understand areas where I can be of assistance or support. For our staff to accept any kind of assistance or support, they need to be able to trust me and that I only offer this support in an authentic way. Building relationships with our support staff is also of utmost importance to me. These staff members are working with some of our most vulnerable and demanding learners. They need to know how much I appreciate and honour the work they do every day.
This goes for all members of our community, for that matter. Our parents and our teachers all work extremely hard to best meet the needs of our students and help them grow to be positive members of our society. I honour the time, the effort, and the dedication they have to our students and our community as a whole.
Furthermore, the relationships I develop with other people within the district, but outside of my school, will be essential to my support system which is necessary as a lone-administrator in a school. There are many many people I can learn from within the district and for that I am so very grateful. I know I can comfortably ask for advice, for clarification, and for direction from a number of different people within my new district. Everyone has been so welcoming thus far and I feel very fortunate to be landing in such a caring environment.
Continuing to build and develop my PLN will be essential in my growth and development as a principal and lead learner. My new role will allow some of my current relationships to grow into a different direction as I know that I have a great deal more to learn from my PLN in my new role.
The focus on relationships is going to be extremely important in my moving forward in my new district, but it is also essential to continue to build and develop the current professional relationships I have. So often, we get busy in our day-to-day work, especially when we are doing a new job, that we lose track of those who were once paramount in our personal and professional development. During 2015, I need to continue to make these relationships a priority and continue to nurture, develop, and honour them.
As always, my personal relationships will continue to be a priority for me. I need to continue to make time to go for tea with friends. We need the support of one another. In addition, my relationships with my immediate family need to always come first in all I do. They need to be my first priority in 2015. While I know that my new job will be demanding and probably overwhelming, at times, my family will always be there to bring me down to reality and help me focus on those things that are truly the most important in life.
My word for 2015 is relationships. All relationships.
What’s your word (s) for 2015?