Until one is hoisted into the high-pressure role of school administrator, there is no way to comprehend the complexities and competing interests that assert themselves into the myriad of decisions made within the course of a day. It's easy for an observer to judge a school leader for decisions that seem to be made for the purposes of efficiency and peace in the faculty lounge. I know I did my share of judging while in the the classroom. However, that ended when my first administration position began. By the end of my first week of crying kindergartners, complaining parents, voluminous paperwork, restrictive policies, tight budgets, and stressed out teachers, I completely empathized with all of my previous administrators and the decisions they had made. My eyes were opened to the realities of the role. (p. 2)I've had a few days lately when Cynthia's thoughts were real close to home. Then I snapped out of it. To use Cynthia's phrase, my eyes were opened to the tasks at hand that truly mattered -- providing feedback through classroom walk throughs; meeting with teachers in small groups to talk about what's going in their classroom; investing in the lives of my former students; encouraging classroom teachers; and writing notes of appreciation to colleagues.
Our actions illustrate our values. Sometimes I choose to value the management tasks. Other days, I choose to value students and their learning. It's not easy.