Saturday, August 31, 2013

Accentuate the Positive

I cannot remember a time when I have had so little sleep over such a long time as I have in the past month. As many mentions as I have made over the years to coffee and energy drinks (my webpage is called “The Highly Caffeinated Educator” after all), my thoughts now do not lead me toward another paean to the power of chemistry. This time, the energy to go on came from outright terror and the anticipation of something new and good which I was responsible to make happen.

The first week of school has passed and everything is working. Some tweaks remain to be made so everything operates as smoothly as possible, but so far everything has functioned according to plan.

Except for furniture that did not arrive until 6:00 PM the night before school opened.

And late busses.

And an air-conditioning system that randomly picks a room not to cool each day.

Our motto has become, “It is what it is.”

As easy as it might be to focus on the glitches and the inordinate amount of time they take from my schedule, these best laid plans going awry have been overshadowed by the things that have gone right. The teachers have handled every glitch with grace as have the students. Teaching and learning are taking place in all the classes. The students like and value the environment designed for them. The community is proud of the program we have in place.

The glitches have been just that - glitches. None of them harmed anyone or disrupted the activity of the school. I left work each day with a smile on my face. It is really easy to focus and point out the positives with everything working as it has so far.

The outright terror I experienced for the last month that kept me awake pondering every scenario helped get the the right plans in place. Terror can be productive that way. I did not sleep much, but my attention was focused. I have a feeling that every year I am the administrator of a campus I will experience similar terror. As a teacher and counselor, the start of the school year brought long hours and anxiety, but it was nothing like that of an administrator.

The success of the year’s start excites me and has set the tone for a positive year. My goal now is to keep the positive energy going for the entire school year.
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