As I reflect on my own personal writing habits, I realized that even though this space has been very quiet, I really am writing blogs every week. It’s just that my audience is smaller in that I only share with my building staff. So, in an effort to return to reflection in this space, I’m diving back in. This is a longer version of a reflection I shared last week in my weekly Monday Message:
Last night I had a dream, and it’s stuck with all day. It was one of those dreams that was normal enough to potentially be real but just odd enough to make me wonder what in my subconscious had triggered it. Somehow I had secured a spot as the host of a quickly approaching episode of Saturday Night Live, yet nobody had told me that was the case. I found out through a television commercial. Now, I’m certainly not one to shy away from a microphone (a statement that shouldn’t shock anyone, so I’m told), but this was too much for me. I don’t even watch SNL! In line with many of my dreams, however, I was left searching for very essential details that would allow me to prepare for this situation that I was completely unprepared for. What pop-cultural itch did I scratch for the populace that would put me front and center like this? I encountered people over and over again who couldn’t understand why I was so anxious, and they offered no help. They were more excited by the after-party that I would be entitled to attend as host.
Unfortunately my world television premier was rudely interrupted by a rogue early morning real-life text message, so we’ll never know how badly I bombed. Here is yet another reason to buy a real alarm clock and turn my phone OFF.It’s rare that a dream stays with me so clearly after I wake up, so my mind has wandered back to it several times today. I thought about the emotions that felt so real: the anxiety, the excitement, the confusion, and the anticipation. Then I realized how closely this dream and these feelings can be linked to what we do each day that we step through the front door of school. Although we surely have a general idea, based on experience, what our days will be like, we can never be truly prepared for the unpredictable nature of our work. Some days we may even wake up feeling completely unprepared for what lies ahead. But isn’t that also what makes this so satisfying? Each day is an opportunity to approach a situation from a different perspective because we deal in the world of people, not things. That unpredictability, a breeding ground for fresh perspectives and new ideas, is exactly what allows us to learn and grow from past stumbles.
Only special people can do this difficult but rewarding job! And, unlike in my dream, we are able to lean on each other for support because we’re all in this together. None of us works in isolation. Sadly, there’s also no after-party, just the quiet moments where we’re left to reflect on the difference, small or large, that we may have made in a student’s life that day. I’ll take what I can get!
As we head full-on into the school year, I’m honored to be with you, fighting the good fight for kids, once again. And while I suppose I could wish you all a “predictable week”, I’d hate to jinx it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work on my opening monologue for this year’s talent show. It’s only eight months away, and I want to be prepared!