Actions Speak Loudest

There is a recent tweet by @VAeducatorRJW that really resonated with me.  He tweeted a quote from W.E.B DuBois that stated, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”  There are probably more than a few ways to interpret that quote depending on if you’re a teacher or other type of educator, but in my role of Principal, I thought about that quote in regards to the relationship between ‘Principal/Teacher’.  It resonated with me so much that I was compelled to make a list of what I should strive to do, everyday, to ensure my ‘actions’ are worth learning from…

  • Go into every conversation, every interaction, assuming positive intent.
  • Personalize.  Take time to build a caring, trusting, relationship with every teacher.
  • Give kudos to teachers (or anyone for that matter!) in the moment.  Never let kudos go un-shared.  It’s important to tell teachers those things in the moment…otherwise they can be easily forgotten in the chaos of a school day…and you never know, that could be the one moment that turns their day around.
  • Show vulnerability.  Let teachers know I’m human, too, because I’m more approachable that way.
  • Speak my own truth.  The simple action of beginning a sentence with “I” rather than “you” can make all the difference in the perception of what is being said.
  • Say what I feel.  It actually feels very liberating to say what I feel and use true ‘feeling words’.  It can be reassuring for teachers to know how a Principal feels, because it takes a lot of guessing out of the intent of the conversation.

So to follow one of my own bullets above – thanks for tweeting out that quote, Rashard.  It made me ponder!  PLN at it’s best…