New Year’s Reflections

For the first time in many months, I have actually stepped away from work and let it get away from me for a little. Now, to be clear, I think about Henley, our community, and our work daily, but I have sat with my thoughts and let them rise and fall without putting any action to them. In the past, sitting with thoughts has given me anxiety, as I am one who loves to act; however, I have learned an important lesson over the past few months and the lesson is that we cannot possibly put into action every idea that we think is a good one. Leaders have to be able to take the pulse of their community, talk to those who work the closest with our students, and really dig deep to unearth what actions should be taken to impact students’ emotional, social, and academic growth.

My admin team and I met yesterday to discuss a couple of big topics on the horizon. We met for about two hours to create plans for our weekly Henley Huddles, the division’s Digital Learning Initiative, the revitalization of Henley’s AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) Program, our Master Schedule, and Henley’s School-wide Approach to Behavior. I left feeling that we were on the same page and that we had taken on just enough in that meeting to walk our next steps, engage those who need to be in on the work, and set measurable outcomes for success.

The next few weeks will be hurried. Scheduling for students in grades 6-7 starts soon, 8th grade students will choose their high school courses, and in the coming weeks, I will meet the new Henley Class of 2019. When the reality of everyday in a school hits, and hits like a tidal wave, I will need to reflect back to these important moments of pause. The work we do now is important not only for tomorrow, but for the tomorrow we are striving to create for future classes. If I acted on every idea that I thought was a good one, I would miss the big picture, the connection to the system of which Henley is a part.