Two books have impacted my journey as an education more so than all the books I have read as they were the backbone of my philosophy of being an administrator. When I became a Vice Principal almost 5 years ago, I received copies of How Full is Your Bucket? By Tom Rath [@TomCRath] and What Great Principals Do Differently: Eighteen Things That Matter Most By Todd Whitaker [@ToddWhitaker]. These books can change how you view your role and how you interact with people every day.
One of my core values as an educator is: “Be a faucet [not a drain] – Each moment matters-make each one positive.” This came from Tom Rath in How Full is Your Bucket. As an administrator, I come into contact with people all day long. I have thousands of interactions every day. If I can make all of those [or most] positive, I can change the world around me.
Recently I heard a great analogy about pouring into people that I think I am going to take and apply to my core values. I know this is nothing new and the person said as much, but still, it is awesome.
Be a river not a reservoir when dealing with people.
A reservoir is made to hold water in and save it for later. But if the reservoir does not have an outlet, the water gets stagnant. I do not know if you have been around stagnant water…it does not smell great.
A river is always moving and flowing. It is always giving.
As an educator, you need to be always moving and pouring into your staff, students, and families. It is the only way to be successful.
I know many will say that they can not always pour out, they believe they will run out and be empty. The big secret is; when you continually pour out, you will never be empty. It is when we try to keep and store everything for ourselves that it goes stagnant and we end up empty.
Be a river.