How Do You Define Success?

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
– Maya Angelou 

It is hiring season for the administrators and staff at Sigler Elementary and while it may add hours to the day, it can serve as a source of unexpected inspiration when you have the privilege of finding the next great teacher.

One question I like to ask candidates is,
“At the end of your first year of teaching, how will you know if your first year was a success?” 
I am wanting to hear how the success of their students will determine whether or not their first year was a success. 
Of course, this brings the next question, “How do you define success?” 
This is the fork in the road where candidates take the STAAR results path or pinpoint specific moments such as the relationships cultivated, teaching students to read or helping students reach their goals as how they define success. 
Today, I encountered a different response. Today, I was asked a question in return. 
The question was, “As a principal, how do you define success for your teachers?” 
As @Byronvgarrett would put it, I had to take a moment and “pause for the cause” and reflect on that.  Once I collected my thoughts, I responded as follows: 
I define success as whether or not staff members are happy while at work. I desire everyone genuinely enjoy their role in educating our students. I want an environment where teachers are happy in their rooms with students, happy when discussing instruction with their colleagues and happy when students exceed our expectations. 
I define success as celebrating the small victories. Small victories like helping students accomplish a goal or helping students discover a passion they didn’t realize they had. 
I define success in the relationships with students. Such as the number of times we make students smile or the number of hugs students give when they need the reassurance there are teachers who care. 
I define success in the opportunities we provide students and the experiences we expose students to that are life changing. 
I believe if we measure success as mentioned above and take care of one another, others who are not a part of our Sigler family can spend time measuring our success based on standardized tests, such as STAAR and everything will fall right into place. 
How do you measure success? 

3 thoughts on “How Do You Define Success?”

  1. Great thoughts and a great response from an interviewee. There are so many ways to measure success. Sometimes failure helps us illuminate success when we didn't think of it in that way.

  2. Measurement is too often self- predicated and too seldom reality. While agree with and align with your words and leadership, 0-9 is still something I have to learn from and evolve for the future.

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