“We have to be engaged at the heart level in order to
be courageous champions.”
When I decided to enter the world
of educational leadership, I underestimated the value of courage. I was
enthusiastic and somewhat naïve about my role as a school leader. Within weeks
of my new leadership journey, I immediately learned that I needed to deal with
difficult situations that I didn’t feel prepared for. We explored challenging
leadership scenarios in my administrative credential coursework, but nothing
compared to the daily decisions that required deep reflection, courage, and
My first year was full of
opportunities to practice reflection and courageous leadership. Those opportunities included having difficult
conversations and supporting team members who needed a boost.
educator who couldn’t find the courage to raise expectations for students, and
not raise her voice.
parent who had good intentions, but intimidated staff and children.
staff member who needed to find the motivation to be the best team member she
All were situations that required
relationship building, compassion, and sincere dialogue about solutions. My
passion for education and love for my school community were simply not enough.
I’ve never worked as hard as I did
my first year as principal. I worked through the challenges and found my leader
voice. It was a voice that compelled me to question my role and required me to
find the courage to support others, sometimes unwilling participants, in making
changes for students. I could not have found my voice without establishing
trust and complete transparency with my team. The establishment of strong
relationships helped us move forward with a solid focus and collective
commitment to our school community.
Four years into my principal
journey, I have learned more than I imagined about courage and leadership. This
great work is rewarding, challenging, and ever-changing. It calls for
courageous individuals with moral purpose who do much more than identify needs and gaps. Courageous leaders
follow-through with actions that challenge
and change the needs and gaps.
I have come a long way from my
first year as an educational leader and my learning journey continues. I look forward
to many many more courageous
leadership opportunities. I am honored and truly fortunate to do this work. My intention is to lead with courage, love, and purpose…every day for every child.