Monday, October 6, 2014

My Own Worst Enemy

So the past seven days or so have been....um....interesting.

To say things have been wonderful would be a lie.

I love my job.  I love my district, my campus, the family I work with.

But so often I feel like I'm letting them down.

Why?  Because I am my own worst enemy.

I never feel like I'm doing enough.  I never feeling like I'm giving myself enough.

So how does that even happen?  I see my staff overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to do.  I see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices, notice it in their body language.  And I take complete blame.  I'm the administrator.  The climate of the campus falls solely on me.

This school year hasn't been without it's share of trials.  We've got quite a few deficiencies in the kids' education.  We've had more discipline problems then we expected.  But in spite of all this, we've seen the pain that exists in these kids and in this community, and we've shown up, and worked our butts off to show those kids what real love looks like.

But when there's that much pain, there's that much work that must be done to undo it.

We're implementing PBL campus wide.  That can feel overwhelming in and of itself, not only taking into account that no one on my campus has taught the grade their currently teaching.

And as the administrator I've tried to bring snacks, write notes, teach lessons, cover classes, deal with discipline, do after school detention, cook breakfast, and more.  But still I feel frustration and still I feel teachers overwhelmed.

Teaching is hard work.  Teaching is a lot of work.  And great teachers give every single piece of themselves, and my campus is full of great teachers.

We're firing on all cylinders and we're making sure people know they matter.  But still I feel inadequate.  I feel like I'm not teaching enough, I'm not listening enough, I'm not encouraging enough, I'm not solving every problem.

And that's worn on me.  I'm a perfectionist at heart.  But even more so I'm overcome with empathy.  I love my team so much and want to make each day their best day of teaching ever and it hurts me deeply when I feel I've let them down or not done enough.

I know I can't fix every problem.  I know I can't be perfect.  I know mistakes have been made, are being made, and will be made by me.  I know that.

But I'm the leader.  And I guess my point in writing this post is to share that we all feel "not enough" sometimes.  We all get overwhelmed.  We all feel like we're failing in some aspects.

But what makes some of us different?  It's in those moments that we must choose to keep standing up when we're knocked down.  It's choosing to take that single step forward when you've just fallen two more steps behind.  It's in admitting you've made mistakes and keeping your head held high.  It's in those moments of struggle, those moments of doubt, those moments of failure, that we really learn the most about who we are and we can become.

I know God placed me in this school for a reason and I keep that at the forefront of my mind.

I tell my students every day that the most important rule at Navasota Intermediate is to "be brave".  And so now I take that advice unto myself.  Be brave, Todd.  Be Brave.