As I reflect on the awesome responsibility of leading in the field of education, I must first say that education is the best profession in the world. How many professions have the privilege of enhancing the lives of people that will shape the future. It is there that the enormous responsibility lies. Every day that we enter the classrooms, our words and actions do have a huge impact on our students.
When I look at the different positions that I have held (teacher, coach, athletic director, elementary principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent) I often wonder what impact I have had on the students and teachers that I have taught or lead. On occasion, I get a note of appreciation, an email, or a phone call that confirms my calling. You see, I do consider my position as a calling. I can only hope that the people and students that I am fortunate enough to lead are able to glean from that calling and the passion I have for my position.
I went through a very dark and deep valley last spring in which, I was able to witness something that was not planned. It was at a board meeting where some 20+ parents attended and all were there in support of me. There were about seven that voiced that support. As I listened to them saying such wonderful accolades on my behalf, tears began to come into my eyes. That was a confirmation to me that told me I am doing something right. As leaders, we understand that it will often be rocky roads or unsafe waters. However, we must stay the course of doing the right thing for the right reasons, and what is best for students.
I lead because I care. I care first and foremost for the students. We can actually mold lives, build character, and motivate performances. I care for the administrators under my watch. They have an enormous responsibility to carry out the plans that I have given them. I care for each teacher that personally touch students' lives on a daily basis. They are my heroes; they are the ones on the front lines everyday, planning, facilitating, and teaching. It is through them that makes the difference in kids' lives. It is them that build relationships which impacts the students to do remarkable accomplishments. I believe all of us have at least one teacher that we can name, that made a difference in our lives. As we understand it is not about the money but about those students that tell us that we made an impact on their lives.
I lead because it is in leadership, I can make a difference. I can only pray that the difference I make is a positive one.