Executive Director Deliberations

It seems as though for many of our administrators this has been a particularly challenging spring.  So many things seem to be at an all-time high this year – legal issues, parent complaints, challenging student behavior, the list goes on and on.  I’ve had more than one conversation with several individuals that indicate that our jobs in education truly have become more difficult.  It isn’t just spring fever.  This is real.  One might ask – is it still worth it to persevere in this career?

Scores of evaluations to complete. Irate parents. Boards stepping out of their authority and trying to micro manage.  Disrespectful, disinterested students. Constant testing and unreasonable requirements.  Negative press releases.  Lack of credit to those who deserve it. These, and many more things, conspire against educators and try to bring us down. To discourage us. To make us wonder if we are wasting our time.

And today I want to offer you a small word of encouragement. – You are NOT wasting your time. What you’re doing DOES matter. Your labor is not in vain.

I was going to tell you that there are teachers and students in your buildings who will look back on this year and be thankful for your influence. They may even be the one causing you the most trouble.  I was going to remind you that growth takes time and tell you that the seeds you are planting in teachers as well as in the young hearts and minds will grow and bring forth fruit, even if you might not see it yet.  I was going to tell you that you are making a difference. That there are students who care. Who are grateful. Who are learning. Who are growing. Even if they never tell you.  I was going to tell you all of this until I realized that all of these things pale in comparison to one very important fact – it means very little coming from me – however – it DOES matter coming from the people you truly care about.

This is the time where your NDCEL family becomes more important than ever.  Being a school leader can be a very lonely job.  Sometimes the best person – frankly sometimes the only people we have are our peers that we find in our group.  Your network – your peer group – your friends.

Pull each other forward, friends. We’re going to need each other in the coming days. For we can’t expect the world out there to know what our world is like - we know they don’t – some folks might pretend to know – but unless you’ve truly spent time in the shoes of a REAL educational leader – they just don’t.   HOWEVER, we should expect support, encouragement and a magnetic pull of excellence from our team and colleagues to finish this year in awesome ways.  Be there for one another.  Call a person in your area that is newer in this career and make sure they are doing ok.  Call someone who has been around for a while and tell them they are doing an awesome job.  Continue to stick together.

Then come together to our Summer Conference June 13-15 in Bismarck and network – unload – rejuvenate – reinvigorate.  I’m here with you every day cheering for you and doing all I can to bull doze whatever barrier might be in your way toward making your school successful, your kids successful and ultimately YOU successful. 

I love this NDCEL team and each one of you.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you for another year (and hopefully scores more).  Take care of yourself.  We will see you all soon. Happy Summer J