Relationships – Duh!

No, I’m not trying to be funny or¬†facetious. I’m just reminding myself of how easily it is to forget how important our relationships are in our personal and professional lives.

Yesterday a Tweet came across my timeline from one of my Springfield Public Schools colleagues, Dr. Jason Anderson @jandersonsps. His tweet said “Having the right instrument is important, but we don’t congratulate the piano after the recital. Keep the focus on the performer.”

I’m not sure if that is an original quote by Dr. J or if he borrowed it from someone else. Regardless, it had me pondering on the subject most of the day and reflecting back to a previous post.

The “performer” can be many different people in our lives – wives, husbands, children, co-workers, students, teachers, staff, and parents.

As we approach the beginning of the 2012 – 2013 school year (first day of school here is 36 days away) remember that we can have the most up-to-date technology or the latest and greatest ideas (flipped class, DI, PBL, etc.), but without having genuine relationships with all involved none of it will work.

In Todd Whitaker’s book “What Great Principals Do Differently” this is one of the first items he addresses. “It’s people, not programs.”

So, Admin get out of your office and connect with your staff, students, and families. Be visible before school greeting everyone that crosses your path. Visit classrooms, be in the halls between classes, get in the lunchroom and visit with the students, don’t just supervise after school events – connect with the families.

Teachers – make it a point to speak to every student every day and find a way to connect to them all. Go out of your way to connect to new staff and make a connection with colleagues of different subjects and grade levels that you rarely interact.

Thank you Jason for the reminder to keep the focus on the performer a.k.a. those most important to us.