Diapers to change. A lawn to mow. Papers to write. A basement to build.
Couch lounging has become a pastime that is hard to come by as of late. That being said, after finishing my summer semester of coursework this month, I found myself on the couch, with a cup of coffee as my son napped. Flipping through the channels, I found one of my favorite movies, Remember the Titans.
As I enjoyed a movie I have seen at least 15 - 20 times, I found myself watching through a new lens. This is probably due to the fact that on May 31st of this past spring, I began my first 9 credits of the Educational Leadership program at Stony Brook University. As I watched the movie, I took note of things that I never saw before. From leadership styles, to coaching techniques, to relationship and team building, the actions were now framed under a new context.
Then...”Attitude reflects leadership.” A simple, but enduring quote from the movie.
Whether you read this through the lens of a teacher or a school leader, this sentiment still holds true. It’s easy and convenient to dismiss the challenges we face and problems that arise as rooted in some external force. It is instinctual to do so, and I often need to remind myself to analyze my own contributions to the problem at hand. We, as leaders and teachers, set the tone for the attitude that will swirl both in our classroom and throughout the school. It’s a piece of being educator that most know, but few fully embrace. We often seem to have “our style” and students or staff are expected to adjust accordingly. Do I need an update? A “Mr. G version 3.1”? How do I need to lead to keep my students engaged, excited, and excelling. It needs to be a constant reflective process regarding how our leadership is impacting those who count on us.
As we approach another new school year, I have found a new drive to be proactive and thoughtful in every word I say, every lesson I plan, and every activity that I craft. It’s easy to do things as we have done them in the past, but what’s easy isn’t always what’s best. So as this new year begins, my focus is drawn to being mindful and deliberate in all the ways that I lead. Because after all, “attitude reflects leadership”.