A colleague recently muttered that being the principal is kind of like having to win the popularity vote – daily. As we fleshed out the topic, we agreed that we are certainly called to be open, approachable, active ministers, enmeshed in many aspects of the community.
The adage often cited at admin workshops is that “it is all about relationships”, and for sure, much of what an educational leader does is nurture relationships – genuine, authentic caring relationships, the fruit of which is mutual respect and love.
The motto of the Oblates, founders of St. Charles Catholic School, helped me develop a framework with regard to relationships: “As is the spring, thus will be the stream”. Or in other words, the beginning begets the ending. Thus, I have over time come to understand that the most critical relationship to nurture is the one I have with Jesus. If that one is solid, all the others fall into place.
In the role of school leader, one constantly flows among several groups of people. Each group is very different and has different expectations, i.e. groups such as the parents, the students, the staff, the greater community and our colleagues. Even with 5 university degrees under my belt and years of teaching experience, it has taken practice to learn to transition between a meeting with parents who are grieving a child’s poor health prognosis to one involving representatives from the K of C excited to share some good news about a recent fundraiser.
Unfortunately, despite one’s best intentions, not every conversation goes well, nor every relationship remains positive. Hmmm – I have often pondered the story in which Jesus resorted to flipping tables n the temple.
Today’s goal: With whom am I struggling the most? How is this reflected in my personal relationship with Christ?