This year is no different. And, as we close in on the end of this calendar year, I already have my sights set on some new and innovative goals for 2016. So with that in mind - 2015 - that's a wrap.
Here is a look back at the powerful professional takeaways from this past year. There is absolutely no significance to the order in which I share.
Relationships First - As educators, we know the value and the significance of strong interactions with our community of learners. This past year I became more purposeful and intentional with my interactions with those that I am surrounded by both in the "real-world" and those that I connect with online through Twitter, Blogging, Voxer and other social media platforms. All of my relationships have been at the core of my success. Going forward, my goal is to continue to strengthen my relationships with colleagues both face-to-face and online and focus on those that need the most attention first.
Pressing Pause - My past is filled with moments of impulse. It's human. We react to our environment. And, I am not alone. I would like to think that as I have become older, I have also become wiser. Now I find myself (and sometimes it is my colleagues who help me) pressing pause in various moments throughout my day. Doing so has positively impacted my leadership. This simple action has made me a better leader, a better listener and a better friend.
Response Matters - Recently I read the book, Above the Line by Urban Meyer. Within his success, and this book, there is an equation which is referred to countless times. In fact, I have written about it before. "E+R=O" has been at the core of my work in the fall of 2015. The key component of this equation is in the "R". It is our responses to various situations that will define us and will make us effective, or not. To learn more about the "R Factor", check out the work of Tim Kight and Focus3Culture.
Raising the Bar - Being a building principal, I am constantly amazed by the professional drive of the staff that I work with. Being in a large district, we are blessed to have the resources we do. Whether embracing the newest student management systems, embedding over 3600 1:1 devices in a blended learning model or supporting teachers through ongoing professional development, I firmly believe that if we have the crucial conversations, the tough moments and keep the bar set high, the return on our time and energy will out-way all other efforts combined.
There are many additional moments during 2015 that could be a part of this post. Friends made, relationships cultivated, recognition received and opportunities provided just to list a few. Even though I look forward to yet another year of amazing opportunities and learning experiences, I am saddened to close this chapter of my personal and professional life. As an avid reader myself, I look forward to the upcoming chapters and putting the ink to the pages and creating this next part of my story.