William Sprankles @wsprankles
This past month my son got an ear infection. And while this is not a major medical issue, it was still something new and scary for a newer mom to work with. As I called the doctors’ office more than I should have and questioned and researched causes, effects and preventions, I realized we are all in need of good leaders.
On Monday night after a day of swimming, my son had a high fever. I immediately retraced my actions of the day- “did I apply enough sunscreen?” “Did I get it on his face?” “Did he take his hat off and I didn’t know?” I doubted myself as a mom and a parent and felt guilt, worry and pain that he was in pain. I called the doctor Tuesday morning to schedule an appointment. In the last 3 months, he had already had a double ear infection and shown early asthmatic signs. What I needed, was my doctor and their entire staff to be good leaders. I needed them to be honest with me- what was wrong and how could we fix it. As a new mom who felt as if I did something wrong, I needed them to be kind. And as my 13 month old ran through the doctors offices wearing only a diaper, screaming and pulling on his ears, I needed them to be silly!
In all of our lives, we are not only in need of good leaders, but we are also given opportunities to lead. We lead at home, with our friends and social groups, with our jobs, classrooms, departments, schools- As leaders, we are expected to be and need to be many things to many different people in many different situations.
We need to know when to be silly and have fun and build real personal relationships with those who trust us- and who are entrusted to us.
We need to be honest and do honest work. We must respect everyones’ needs including the treatment, instruction, motivation and guidance that the people we lead (given young, old, easy to lead or a little more difficulut) need and deserve.
We need to be kind. As educators, as leaders, as people, we all want to be seen and heard and valued- no matter our age, our race, gender or social status, training or education, we all want to be important and valued.
In a time where public education and innovative leadership is under great judgment, as leaders of different arenas, we must stay silly, honest and kind- and most importantly, know when which one is needed.
Princeton High School, Assistant Principal