Less is More

Early Christmas Vacation…Not what you think!

Less is more has become my mantra over the last few weeks after having a fall at school on December 12th.  This fall resulted in me having my first ambulance trip to the hospital and an early Christmas Break, due to a mild concussion and back and neck pain.  The good news is that I am on the mend and plan on heading into 2018 with a renewed purpose and passion for learning and leading.

Having to take time off from work has not been without a sense of guilt on my part.  I do not “rest” easily so the time away from the everyday routine of school life has presented me with more time to reflect.  Through my reflections Less is More has become the theme that seems to be guiding me into 2018…

Less is More…

  • doing less because of an injury has allowed my body to heal more quickly
  • working less has allowed others to lead more
  • taking time off work has allowed my crew to do more; they have stepped up and have realized they are the awesome leaders I know them to be!

As leaders, we are always doing so much for our schools; for our teachers, students and parent community because we are passionate about our roles.   This has been my role as an elementary principal…to serve others…and it thrills me to be able to support my “crew” to be the best they can be in their teaching and with the students they serve on a daily basis.

The Opportunity to Lead

In speaking with my assistant superintendent while I have been off work, she reiterated what I know to be true about my crew and that is that they are awesome.  People step up and lead when opportunities arise and this is exactly what my crew did.  My crew wanted to do more so that I could do less…because, they said, I do so much!  I was humbled to hear this but at the same time very proud of the team we have become.  The message was that they were happy to take over and give back!

Maybe doing less is more and this realization has resulted in my reflection and focus for 2018.

Jimmy Casa, in his book, Culturize states… As leaders we need to do a better job of focusing on less and doing it better while providing more time and the right support for our teachers.  I believe focusing on less while providing more can be applied across the greater school community.

How is Less More?                                  

In our classrooms…

  • less adult talking and more student talking
  • less talking and more listening
  • less talk time and more think time
  • less worksheets and more “hands on”
  • less busy work and more passion projects
  • less sitting and more moving

In our office…

  • less lecturing from adults…more opportunities for students to feel listened to
  • less comments about being tardy and more “We are happy to see you!” phrases
  • less negative and more positive phone calls home to celebrate kids

On our playgrounds…

  • less competition and more kindness
  • less exclusion and more inclusion
  • less complaining and more positive talk from students and adults
  • less conflict and more getting along

In my role as principal and leader…

  • less guilt about doing everything…more focus on fewer tasks
  • less office time and more student time
  • less paperwork and more meaningful conversations
  • less work and more family time

Living and developing a less is more philosophy will be scary, I won’t lie.  However, I am committed to being more to myself and my family.  When we become more to ourselves, the benefits will spill over into all facets of our lives and isn’t this the greatest gift we can give to others?