Earlier this week I overheard students excitedly talking about writing letters and making videos for next year’s students. The plan is for the teachers to give these to their new students on day one in August both as a welcome and as a way to frontload the year and decrease anxiety. 6th grader’s were calling it a “Survival Guide,” which got me thinking about what my own survival guide might look like for the new Academic Coordinator. After reflecting some more I realized that I don’t want to pass on a survival guide at all but rather a guide to thrive, a “thrivival guide.” Writing in this way, no matter if you are a child or an adult, is such a great reflective practice of closure that allows for new beginnings and honors the beauty of school or life (whatever you want to call it) as being beyond your single self in the world.
Here is my “thrivival guide” to the next AC. While it doesn’t focus on the nitty gritty of what I do each day, it does focus on the how and the why in a such a way that builds school culture and can be applied to any what:
1. Get to know people. This takes time. Take the time.
2. Get into classrooms daily. See what is really happening. Remember what it’s like to be a classroom teacher. Remember what it’s like to be a student. Ask yourself: What are my students learning? Is there joy? Is there rigor?
3. Be a student. As an admin this especially means listening to kids, parents, and teachers.
5. There is a safety and a beauty to consistency and routine. Be steady yourself always. This will help you create systems that are sustainable.
6. Success without integrity is not success. I found this quote online but it has stayed with me as one of my biggest learnings this year. Integrity is when your heart, your thoughts, your words, and your actions all work in harmony and align. Integrity means wholeness. This is when it feels easy. When you sleep deeply. When you are present. When you are truly you.
7. Be kind. Greet people. Say please and thank you.
8. Apologize. Accept apologies.
9. Forgive. You will make mistakes. Public mistakes. Big mistakes. You will make bad decisions. So forgiveness is especially important to practice with yourself.
Being an educator, like being a parent, is a job of giving and giving and giving. That being said, here is the most important life lesson Mar Vista has taught me:
10. Giving is really a receiving.
It really has been a gift working at Mar Vista this year. I want to thank each and every one of you for this experience, for this gift. I looking forward to continuing to give it all away!
Rio parents and families, come join me this Monday, June 4th at 8am for our meet and greet coffee!