As I sit looking at my last days of summer vacation, I’ve been thinking about the school administrators and leaders who are already back at it full blast (if they ever got to step away at all).
Our school leaders are increasingly important to me as a teacher as my understanding of their roles grows. Their decisions have the power to allow me to do my job the way I want to do it or to make that harder. The culture they create makes my work environment awesome, or less than awesome. The more my own understanding grows, the more I see they are simply wonderful people who are faced, on the daily, with 1,800 decisions, most of which have no clear “right” answer and some of which have no good answer at all.
So, as I begin praying for the beginning of our school year, my own teacher self, and the teachers my girls will have, I’m striving to pray intentionally for our school leaders too.
To the school leaders/administrators:
You are so important, and so appreciated. Even when we don’t 100 percent agree, or when we don’t know all the pieces and can’t possibly understand, we appreciate that you are there, leading us. This year I’m praying you can feel and remember our appreciation even in the moments we don’t remember to say so or show it.
You are so strong and so determined to help the best things happen. I know the job isn’t easy. I know the criticism is felt even when it’s not said, and it is hard. I pray your heart is patient and confident enough to keep going in the right direction, against all odds. I hope you remember to lean on God and those around you when you need it, and to not let your head get in the way and make you take “job things” too personally. I pray you remember your worth, your greatness, and your purpose.
You are a person. A real one. You have feelings and family and health to consider. Somehow, although we know this, it’s easy for us to forget you are human. I pray you can stay healthy so it is a tad bit easier to show up for us. I’m praying for your family, too—that they can be healthy and have success and consistency in their worlds so your world can keep going smoothly. When you do need to step away from the job to take care of your family or yourself—and it will happen—I pray you can do so without any guilt or guilt trips.
You are knowledgeable and wise. There is so much information you are privy to, for better or for worse, and you have to decide what to do with it all. There are a million decisions each day—maybe each moment—that are yours to make. That is exhausting. I pray you can focus on fighting the right battles and letting the wrong ones go. That you can see which things are worth your time alone, and which things you need to delegate. I pray you recognize when you need to take a minute, and then come back ready to push full steam ahead. And, after those long days of decisions, I pray you can sleep restfully at night. You will have done your absolute best, given your all, and I hope you can find peace in those moments.
You are in a position to lead us through hard things.
There could be dangerous moments. There could be really sad ones. There will be kids who have hard paths to walk and teachers who desperately need help but are not even sure what to ask for. I pray for a peaceful year for all of us, and for a safe one for our school and families. But I also pray that in the hard moments, the ones when we desperately need your leadership, you can find the strength to help and lead us calmly and soundly, and in a godly direction.
You are passionate about kids and education. On the days you sit through meeting after meeting, make tough decisions, give announcements that are met with groans, and send emails you know are read with gritted teeth, I pray you can remember your passion. On the hardest days, may you find a minute to connect with a kiddo, chat with a colleague, and remember all the reasons you are here in the first place. I pray that pulls you through.
You are not alone. Oh, I know it feels like it sometimes. No one can truly understand each scenario you are in and all the possible consequences of it. It’s a big job . . . but you are here for it. God does understand, so I pray you remember to talk to Him about every little everything and lean on Him for it all. And, lean on your people too. There are so many of us who are here, or will try to be here. Whether we know all the pieces or need to just know our piece; whether we understand or are just willing to acknowledge we can’t possibly imagine—we will gladly help share the load in the ways we can.
We see you, and we are thankful you are here, loving on kids, with us.
May you always remember you were placed here for such a time as this—and I am thankful you were.