I have been a district administrator for more than 14 years. In four different districts, I have been a part of systems change efforts with a variety of teams and skill levels. Every district, just like every school site, has its own unique culture. From office staff to kitchen staff, noon duty supervisors, bus drivers, teachers, administrators, parents, community, board members, and students, the list of stakeholders can go on and on.
And yet, I have found the most effective way to guide my daily work is to be very clear about my intentions. I try to keep it very simple “Is this good for kids?”
Any member of any one of the stakeholder groups may say it’s not that simple. I have found in the many years wearing many different hats as a leader that for me it works very well. My intentions as I work my way through daily operations in the many special and challenging moments that occur during a school year and summer that being very mindful about who I am serving guides all of my decisions easily.
I work in education for students. That means on any given day my focus might be any member of the stakeholders mentioned above. And if I serve them well, students needs are met. I am a firm believer in the interconnectedness of all of us and our intentions.
Parents may say they have to make tough decisions for the children. There are moments as a district administrator that I make tough decisions for students. Any of the stakeholders may not believe at the moment that that is what is best for students, and yet I do my very best to try to meet their needs with students in mind.
It’s not always perfect, it’s rarely tidy and yet I believe by keeping it that simple that I am making a difference in students educational journey.
If you happen to be one of the lucky individuals that gets to work in education, and I really do mean that, what your intention? I want to challenge you to contemplate and reflect on what adds value to your daily Compass as you walk serving students. When all of us are clear about our intentions to serve students, our schools are highly effective in doing just that. Students win.