Monday, May 15, 2017

Striving for Progress, NOT Perfection

It's seven days until our kiddos leave us for summer.

With the end of the year in sight, it's hard not to reflect on the changes that have occurred at Vero Beach Elementary.

As a first year Principal, I find it incredibly rewarding to be in a learning environment committed to growing and stretching.  We've embraced our fail forwards this year, pushed ourselves and our students beyond expectations, and have fully embraced the reality of where our school was and the long road ahead.  However, I'm no where near the leader I aspire to be.

I'm spending my summer doing professional learning.  I'll be in Philadelphia growing my leadership skills at the National Association of Elementary School Principals, networking and sharing our story at the Florida Association of School Administrators, learning how to make our Project Based Learning Academy accountable and rigorous with the Buck Institute model, and honing in on how we can build on our tier-one instructional focus for next year.  Each year my goal is to improve as a leader and as a learner.

We recently recieved back the anonymous surveys our staff takes about their Principal and lead learner.  I'll be honest, it gave me quite the blow to my ego.  While I'm still dusting myself off, I'm excited to see where I have areas to grow in.  I'm committed to reading, honing my craft, and reaching out to others.  What I'm doing is...

I hope this is a model for our staff.  We are on our way.

Let me be perfectly honest, while we celebrate our successes along the way- we are not "there" yet.

While we've dropped discipline 82% at this point in the year, our behaviors still have a long way to go, but we will continue meeting the social emotional needs of our students and help our kiddos learn to regulate themselves and control the symptoms associated with high levels of poverty and trauma.  We also have to set in place learning environments that keep students challenged and engaged, this must be a non-negotiable.

Leading with love, caring about students, and sharing our stories of success does NOT mean that we ignore the realty of the obstacles that emerge each day... it means we are sharing our progress... not perfection.

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