Things I Know For Sure

This past week, 120+ new administrators and 20+ facilitators gathered at UBC for connection, inspiration, and reflection. We all participated in the BCPVPA Short Course: Lenses of Leadership for new Administrators that has been happening at the beginning of July for the past 38 years (you can check out the hashtag #bcpvpa for some inspiration). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but had heard good things about the course.

I’d like to take a few blog posts to talk about some of the things we learned and reflected on through out the week. These reflections will continue to happen, of course, but these posts will be a way for me to continue the reflections and share the week we had with others who may not have been as fortunate to be able to attend.

On the last day, we were inspired by recently retired principal, Maeve Buckley. Her talk was entitled, The Top 10 Things I Know For Sure: In Leadership and Life. Her list included:

1. It’s All About Relationships (and trust underlies that)

2. Your Staff is Your Classroom (ensure you are inclusive and your instruction is differentiated)

3. The No. 1 Stressor is Change

4. Strengthen Your Conflict Muscle

5. Every Complaint Has a Thread of Truth

6. When Tension Arises, Lean in

7. It’s Better to Ask Curious Questions

8. The Key to Success … is Personal

9. Stay Connected

10. Celebrate Everything

Of course, I agree with all that Maeve talked about so eloquently, yet so powerfully.

When Maeve finished her talk, she challenged us to think about some things that we know for sure in our role and in life. A few things I came up with include:

1. Listening is more profound than talking. It is so important that each of us remember to take time to really listen to one another and to others in the buildings we lead. We will get far more information, build deeper relationships, and develop more trust through listening.

2. Developing a PLN is essential to our growth and development as educators and as leaders. We can not effectively do this job if we try to do it in isolation. It is essential that we build those connections with others – whether that is within our own district, our province, or around the world. There are people all over our province and all over the world who are willing to support, provide guidance, and listen as we work towards becoming our best (a place we will never arrive). Reach out to others. They are there to help. (Please reach out to me as well; we can learn together.) Being a connected educator has made me a better person and educator and I know my PLN will continue to help me grow personally and professionally.

3. Family, Family, Family. We must not forget the importance of our own family or the family of those with whom we work. Family is everything. Remember to take time to value our own family and the family of others. In all our busy-ness of our job, we need to remember our own family needs us too. We also need to remember that our educators in our building have family and friends who need them too. People will appreciate this about the leaders in their buildings (our own family will too).

This list could go on forever. Thank you to Maeve for your sincere words of encouragement and inspiration. Best wishes to you and your family as you begin your retirement.

What are some things that you know for sure?

Published by Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.

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