Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! While most people consider January 1 the beginning of the new year, most of us in the field of education know that the real beginning is somewhere around the end of August. I can’t wait to see what adventures and opportunities for growth await us this year and I’m excited to be a part of that journey @ConditES.
I recently began reading the latest book from a few of my favorite authors, The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. The premise of the book is that when we realize that certain moments have incredible impact we can better harness and create those moments; pretty interesting stuff. Two specific types of memorable moments that are discussed early in the book are pits and peaks. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like as a school leader, pits and peaks were what constituted most of my time, however I never thought of those moments as opportunities…until now.
Prior to the idea of thinking in moments, I seldom thought that working with people during a low point was a blessing. I mean, I always seek to empower students/teachers/parents that I am working with, but I wasn’t considering these moments as opportunities to make a positive, memorable impact that, in hindsight, would be seen as a proud moment. I’m challenging myself to make that switch as we begin the new year.
Consider the student that has been sent to speak to me because of something that happened in the classroom, usually a repeated issue that hasn’t been addressed fully by using classroom interventions. Instead of simply addressing that specific issue, what can I do to make sure that when that student looks back on the event that they see it as a turning point? What does that conversation sound like? What does the follow up look like? How do I turn something that at the onset is such a negative experience, into something so positive and transformational that this student will look back on it as something they were glad had happened? No easy answers here, right? I don’t claim to write because I have all the answers, but I can say that the more I write, and the more I read the writing of others, the more questions I seem to have.
You may be asking, why start the year with these types of questions? Shouldn’t I be writing about the super fantastical awesome year that is on tap at Condit? Maybe, but I suppose I’d prefer to think about how I will respond to the missteps, because the way I figure it, the memorable moments aren’t always when things are going awesome, they tend to be when we can take something horribly un-awesome and turn it into something we want to remember, and that’s hard.
I hope we can make 2017-2018 a memorable school year for all the right reasons. I look forward to celebrating all the things that call for celebrations, and finding a way to celebrate even that things that don’t.