Take 3 moments today!
Sometimes I wonder if our days pass too swiftly. We seem to move from one event, issue, problem to solve, to another, without taking any time for reflection, personal assessment, or understanding of the impact of our lives, or the results of our deeds.
Last week on the 25th anniversary of Dan O. Root II Elementary School being opened, where I was fortunate to have served as the principal for two years, assistant principal for two years, and before that, school psychologist for thirteen years going back to 1989, I took a few moments to do just that; reflect, assess, and understand.
As I entered the campus I reflected upon the many hundreds of times I had previously walked onto the campus. I reflected upon the literally thousands of IEPs I attended to, to the hundreds of classroom observations I had accomplished, the thousands of conversations with a multitude of people, the many relationships that I had developed and forged, and how I had honed many of my personal and professional skills at this school.
I reflected on how I grew up as a professional educator there, how I had developed into an educational administrator, how I learned so much from the teachers, support staff, parents, and especially the children. I let it sink in that over the course of my 28 years in education two-thirds of my work had been accomplished at this one school. I found myself being grateful, and a bit worrisome as I wondered if I had always gotten it right, knowing that I had indeed made mistakes along the way.
My memories brought me back to the comaraderie of the staff, the commitments we had made early on to support children, the risks we had taken to do it differently, to be cognizant of our effects on children, and to help children know that we were here for them, not ourselves, yet, in the end, we were all benefitting from this symbiotic relationship we called school. I was flooded with emotion thinking about the great times, the difficult ones as well, and the work that we had collectively accomplished over the 25 years with students that walked the halls, grew up, and were now returning to the school with their children. This was a great reflective moment.
I made it a priority to personally assess who I have become as a person, the personal and professional me. Again, knowing that I am not without fault, I wanted to gain perspective on the dissonance between the person that I want to be, the person that I think I am, and the person that others believe me to be. I believe that by understanding this dissonance I will be better at melding the three perspectives so that the person I want to be actually shows up for others to see and believe in, and that my actions are aligning with the person I think I am.
Now, not to get too technical, but I reviewed my personal leadership blueprint that was developed with the assistance of the “Flippen group” who conducted a 360 degree review of perspectives of work folks about me. I have also worked to better understand the needs of my family members who often-times take a back seat to those with whom I work for. Lastly, I have taken some time to personnaly consider my career goals, my personal “@ResiliencyGuy” goals, my “Transformational Resiliency” blog, and my next steps to become an inspirational speaker and writer.
Needless to say, there’s a lot on my plate to assess, and the point that I am trying to make is that I’m taking the moments to accomplish that assessment, and to then make actionable steps to accomplish the identified goals based on priorities that I have identified. That assessment will be for another blog as the point I’m trying to make here is that as you pursue your goals, dreams, and successes, take your moment to assess where you are, and consider if others would measure you or see your perspective the same way, and make some choices on how you want to proceed.
Understand the Impact of Your Life
Let me take you back to the Dan O. Root II 25th year celebration for a moment. As I was chumming it up with old friends, a tall slender six-foot young man with a long pony tail came in the door, and made a bee-line towards me. His eyes looked vaguely familiar, and his freckled smile was also striking notes in my memory. As he approached, one of my colleagues from the back said, “Troy Stewart.” I reached out my hand to the young man and said, “Troy, great to see you.” He asked, “You remember me?” I responded “Of course!”
He went on to say that he had stopped by my office over the last year a couple of times but the people he spoke to said I was in meetings, which was probably true. After we chatted for a few minutes about how he has continued with school, was graduating from high school this year, and was really into studying design, and architecture, he said to me, “I remember on the last day of school when you left I was running through the park, and was headed home, when I heard someone calling me, Troy, Troy, Troy!”
He went on, “When I turned around, I saw you at the edge of the school-yard, and I thought to myself, I don’t want to be in trouble on the last day of school, but I still went back, and then you gave me your Dan O. Root II jacket that had the word “STAFF” on it. I still have the jacket hanging in my grandma’s house.” He went on, “You taking the time to give me that jacket, and making me part of the staff, when I was just finishing third grade, made a difference for me. Thank you. Thank you for caring about me.”
I remembered. I remembered bringing my good Dan O. Root II shirts to school because I probably wasn’t going to be using them much after leaving the site, and I remembered giving that jacket to Troy, and quite honestly, I hadn’t thought about that jacket since the day I had given it to Troy, and yet, this one act quite possibly was a small, yet intricate part in saving this boy. I saw Troy again this weekend at his high school graduation, and personnaly congratulated him on his success. I think he is primed to continue his education, and I know that the educators at Dan O. Root II are largely responsible for helping to build his foundation upon which he has grown.
I know this has been a bit of a long blog entry, and yet, I hope that it inspires you to take three moments for you, especially if you are an educator, and your year is coming to an end, which will hopefully lead to a new beginning next school year. Take a moment to reflect, take a moment to personnaly assess, take a moment to understand the impact of your life, and indeed see the successes in the deeds you have accomplished. You deserve it, and those in your world deserve it.
Remember, “Let the measure of our success be seen in the lives we help children live.”
Peace, Rob Martinez, Ed.D., AKA @ResiliencyGuy @DrRobM_FSUSD “Dr. Resiliency”