Looking through my Twitter feed and listening to voice messages on Voxer, I found myself uncharacteristically dismissing ideas that were being shared. It was weird, it was like I was afraid of the ideas, as if adding one more thing to my to-do list might put me over the edge.
Reflecting on these feelings, I recognized that I am a bit overwhelmed at this point in the school year. When I feel overwhelmed, I feel weak and incapable. Therefore, intimidation and insecurity sets in as I listen to the great ideas of other educators.
When I take time to sit back and analyze how I feel, I try to use that learning to better understand people around me. Some of my teachers feel overwhelmed with changes this fall, and I imagine that their feelings are similar to mine–they feel insecure and want to reject new ideas that come their way for fear of toppling off the edge of effectiveness.
My number one job as a principal is to support my staff. I am their cheerleader, their shoulder to cry on, a bank of ideas, their YES! person, a model of innovation and failure, their accountability partner, and a little nudge to get better all the time. As a principal, I need to understand what they are thinking and feeling. I have to recognize their feelings, validate them, and then help them move forward. When we have mutual understanding of each other, we can move forward together much easier.
I feel better already, having thought through my feelings and gained a better understanding of where they are coming from. New ideas are scary when we don’t feel like we have a grasp on what is already in front of us. On the other hand, when we feel strong and confident, we feel like we can do anything. Let’s help each other feel amazing–no doubt that our students will be the benefactors!
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