That being said, I, like all other teachers and school staff members, am physically, mentally, and emotionally drained by the end of the school year. So, the months of June and July are literally time for me to relax, recharge my batteries, and reflect on what went well in the previous year and what we need to do better in the next school year. As a self-proclaimed nerd, this is when I can really spend some time reading different leadership books and articles, combing the web and YouTube for motivational videos and stories to use with the staff, and to really dig into the planning part of my job. More than anything, though, the summer is when I really challenge myself to evaluate everything we do, why we do it, and find ways that we can do it better. The summer is when I'm not only preparing all the different systems and procedures that will carry us through the next school year, but it's also when I'm preparing myself for the upcoming grind of the school year.
One thing that I keep coming back to in my reading and reflection this summer is what a great staff we have and how thankful I am to work with such a great group of people that seem to have really bought into our school vision of building relationships and focusing on the whole child, not just their grades or test scores. I have learned so much from the teachers and staff here at Belwood, and there's no doubt that they make me a better principal. I can only hope that they have learned as much from me as I have learned from them.
This brings me back to my favorite scripture growing up. Proverbs 27:17 says “Just as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” As a kid, I liked it because it just sounded cool. Now, as an elementary school principal, I find a whole new meaning and calling in this scripture. I have a lot of responsibilities that can be overwhelming at times. but this summer I am realizing that Proverbs 27:17 brings me back to one of my greatest responsibilities. As a leader I am charged with making those around me better, or “sharper,” than they were yesterday. So, while my responsibilities are great and often overwhelming, Proverbs 27:17 gives me a sense of peace regarding why I do these things. Several people along the way in my life have gone to great lengths to sharpen me, and now it is my turn to sharpen those around me as God called us to do in Proverbs 27:17.
So, this is why I really enjoy these summer months when I'm mostly all alone in the school. It's not because I'm anti-social or that I'm glad the kids and teachers are gone. This is a time of year when I can take a step back and sharpen myself in preparation for the upcoming school year, but most importantly identify areas and strategies for how I can sharpen the teachers, students, and even parents at BES. I feel like we are all iron workers in this sense, as we are all responsible for molding and sharpening each other so that we can fulfill our own calling. I am spending these two months of summer preparing for how we are all going to be iron workers this year at Belwood, as we work to sharpen each other daily basis.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how I can sharpen myself and those around me. Feel free to leave a comment below, call/text/email me, or hit me up on Twitter.