This week I finally felt like I knew what I was doing. Maybe it is because the first week of school is over. Whatever the case may be, I am just excited to finally feel like I am living into this new role and liking it. I knew I really liked this role when it was the first Snowball Tuesday and I only missed the being with the students part of Snowball. I thought it was going to be harder than this to walk away from being a director as I aspired to role for so long. However, the role taught me so much before I stepped into this role, I really felt like it prepared me for what would lie ahead. Without further ado, here are my top takeaways this week.
1.) Single Moms/Dads Are Amazing…and Deserve GRACE
I have said this line 100s of times since my son was born. Anytime mommin’ gets tough, I get thankful for my husband’s role in my life and can’t imagine the struggle of the single parent who has to go it alone. The last three weeks have really tested the generosity of my mother, mother-in-law and even good friend as my son’s camp ended in July but school did not start for another three weeks. So each week on Monday through Thursday I had to arrange care for him while Eric worked. This would involve either the additional pickup at my parents’ home, my in law’s home in Aurora, or out in Lockport at Shannon’s place. It made me have to leave work much earlier which usually was not a problem, however, this week already involved a late night. The agenda for a meeting I was requested to attend said the meeting would end at 5 which would be perfect for getting out to pick up my kids by the 6pm cut off (did I mention the fine is pretty hefty for picking up my daughter late from daycare?). Anyway, the meeting was still going at 5:15 when I had to leave or I’d be late to the pickup. I hated leaving. I don’t like being judged but on the other hand I truly had no choice in the matter. As I was beating myself up on the way home for leaving when I did, I realized it was a moment to be thankful for the situation I am in to I 1.) have kids 2.) have a husband who loves me 3.) a great daycare to go to 4.) a job. I am trying to give myself some grace but it is hard. I just hope to channel the feelings of guilt and badness into giving a single parent grace when they need it.
2.) Stay In Your Lane
I love to problem solve. Makes sense since I became a math teacher. When I see problems, I naturally tend to want to help out. I have discovered the longer I stay in this position sometimes it is best to just stay in your lane. When I dabble outside of it either I get swatted down for not staying in my lane or the problem I would have attempted to solve comes to a resolution anyway. This does not mean I should give up helping others. However, seeking first to understand a problem and whether my services are necessary is a good step to prevent the smack down to my lane or unnecessary worry on my part for a problem that will come to resolution anyway.
3.) Seek First to Understand
This week we had a problem in a classroom with a substitute. I was made aware of the problem and talked to the substitute to get a better picture of what exactly happened. Additionally, I spoke with the teacher upon her return to widen my knowledge of the situation. Had I acted before talking to either of these individuals, I would have totally made some mis-steps. However, after the situation came totally into focus by taking into account all of the sides of the story I realized no action was really necessary on my part. Seeking first to understand and then to be understood is applicable in sooooo many situations.
4.) Seek the Good
I was talking with someone who was pretty pessimistic this week. Despite the HUGE walls they put up in our conversation, I was absolutely RELENTLESS with my pursuit of seeking the good in any situation and IT WORKED. Honestly, I was astounded by the result. As I was chatting with the individual, I had doubts that my positivity would bust through the seemingly brick walls that were created in the conversation. However, focusing on the good and seeking it out in this person paid off. I will think back to this situation in the future when I doubt my positivity and will fondly remember how this person TOTALLY changed their tune. Even in the face of a super challenging conversation, there is good there.
5.) Feeling the Flow
Friday this week was amazing for me. I had many great conversations with staff members about improving practices at Rich East, a fantastic lesson with my Geometry class where students almost literally felt the headache for which math was the aspirin (separate blog post coming), and I left work a whole hour earlier than normal and didn’t feel guilty at all because the major stuff was basically taken care of. I finally felt in the groove with this whole administrator job. I believe this can be accredited to working with teachers. Since this was the job I was hired to do and it was the majority of the day I honestly feel like this is the reason why I felt in the flow on this day. I’m hoping for more flow days in the future but will appreciate this one until those ones appear.