Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on my leadership expectations and strategies. Mainly thinking through how my leadership style supports or hinders my staff. Being an administrator is not for the faint of heart. I know and understand this and yet, 5 years in, I am still trying to adjust to what I know to be vs. what I need to be. The end of the year is here and this type of reflection is necessary.
So, I laid down on my bedroom floor yesterday thinking about how my mind and body are feeling in this moment. I am not settled and I can feel it in my chest. My head hurts, sometimes it is hard to breathe, my hands shake and heart races. It's anxiety. But I hadn't been able to figure out why...there is nothing different in my life really, nothing pressing, I should be grateful for what I have and also do not have on my plate right now. But I am feeling so unsettled.
I laid there and began to think about my to-do list. There is summer school, master schedule, teacher evaluations, planning next year personnel, etc...the typical workload for any time of the year, so is this even work related anxiety? Then I thought a little deeper. Timing. This time of year, we rationalize student change in behavior with the ending of the school year. If a student begins to act out, we say "Oh, this is typical at this time because they are beginning to realize that they will not be with this teacher; moving to middle school; high school; etc." For the most part, this is an accurate statement for some children...but why don't we make this connection for the adults in the building, too?
This time of year, we are exhausted and only educators can understand the type of exhaustion I am speaking about. We are in the middle of closing out one year, and planning for another. On top of that next year, my school is downsizing so we are losing over 300 students and quite a few of teachers. Unfortunately, we have not been able to have those conversations with teachers yet, so that wait time is hard. Also, we are beginning to plan for next year, thinking about all of the changes that need to be made and yet, unable to make them because we are still in the current year. A mess for my psyche.
We are in a difficult time ending one year and planning for another, with a huge change to our community and on top of that, administrators can be moved at any time. Which could be a gift and a curse. Pretty sure, my anxiety is due to a lot of unknowns and goodbyes. Two hard topics for any one to handle all at once. So what does one do when facing a challenge like this? You face it head on and JUST KEEP GOING! My mantra right now is "This too shall pass". No matter what my body feels, I choose to keep pressing forward and being intentional with how I am caring for myself, while smiling because that is what good leaders do.