What I have Learned this Year (So Far)

I am 55 years old, and I am in middle school. Well, not IN middle school, but I have started my 30th year in a middle school. My wife would tell you I have always been a slow learner. But the beauty of it is that I am still learning, every day, about my job, my school, and the educational journey I have been on now for 33 years. Here is what I have learned this year, my 33 opening week of school.

I have learned that kids are remarkably resilient. Yes, they are nervous (so am I the first day of every year). Yes, they are unsure of themselves to varying degrees. Yes, they fumble their way through lockers, more freedom and responsibilities, and 1500 kids in the hallways. But you know what? They figure it out. Some quickly, some take more time, but the vast majority of them learn and grow and spread their wings to fly. It is quite remarkable to watch.

I have learned that it is not perfect. Nothing is. There are issues, there are problems, there are bumps and bruises along the way. But it almost always seems to work out. I look at it like a project you’re working on, like if you were building a table for your dining room. You put so much time and effort into it, and you see every little flaw. But those little flaws are not what everyone else sees. They see a beautiful product in your dining room. That is what I chose to focus on.

I learned that new people in new positions bring a whole different perspective to the work. And that is a good thing.

I have learned that a great administrative  team is more valuable than anyone can possibly know. I am fortunate to have a team this year that works together, has each others back and can laugh every single day. No words can express how much that means to me.

I have learned that having a staff that is dedicated to kids and flexible in their approach goes a long way to creating a positive school climate and culture. I have heard it said that starts from the top and goes down, but I will admit they are wrong. Anything I do or say means nothing if you do not have a committed group of educators that believe ion the school and support you.

What have you learned so far this year?

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About drellena

Principal of Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. President of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.
This entry was posted in Learning, Middle School, School Culture, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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