This past weekend, I was able to participate in a Twitter chat, focused on the balance between work and family. Being honest with myself, this is something that I struggle with, but I will argue that my work (if that is was you refer to your job as) is my family. Clearly, I know the difference between my school family and my wife and son, but on average, I spend 10 hours a day with my school family. Like most families, we celebrate together, we mourn together and we surround ourselves with one another when we need the support of a family. (We may argue a little bit from time to time, but we are going to call that “positive friction” and that happens in all families…right?)
What happens on your campus when a staff member needs to be with their immediate family?
Over the last week and as recently as yesterday, I have been reminded just how important our families are. As a principal, this is the one aspect of the job that I completely underestimated. As if teachers are invincible. As if teachers and their families do not go through health related obstacles. I was so naive. Of course teachers and their families go through these seasons. We all do. How do you respond as a leader when this happens on your campus? How do you respond when a staff member lets you know they are going to be off campus because of something that has happened to them or to a loved one? If you have hired the best and I believe we have, the teachers that are fighting for our students each day, do not want to be away from their school family. They are fighting a battle in their mind, being pulled back and forth between what they need to be doing at school and what they can be doing to support their family or loved ones at home. As a leader, I find it necessary to remind them, encourage them and support them at every opportunity to be with their family. Being with their family is exactly where they should and need to be….#familyfirst. The school family will be there supporting them along the way and will surround them with love upon their return.
It is never easy being away from family, whether it is your school family or your family, family. In fact, as I type this right now, I am away from both of my families. I look forward to the FaceTime calls with my wife and son, and later today I plan on recording a video message for the staff and students to see when they gather together Thursday, for our spirit assembly.
I will return to work next week and walk back into my home at the end of this one, once again being surrounded by family. Do not take that for granted.
What was your moment today?