Saturday, December 20, 2014


I have been out of school for a few days. It was unexpected. Some say that it was the Lord's way of telling me I needed to slow down. Perhaps, they are right. I haven't done much in the past few days but lay in bed or on the couch, watch my fill of movies and nap. I've also had time to think, and to reflect. 

I may have watched the movie "Love Actually" a few times, well, more than a few truthfully. It's my weakness, and I'm happy to admit it. One of my absolute favorite parts of the movie is the monologue at the beginning of the film. Well done, Richard Curtis, Hugh Grant and those unsuspecting travelers and loved ones! This very poignant beginning of the film highlights the one very important truth, "love actually is, all around."

The question is, do we take the time to recognize it, in all its myriad of forms on a daily basis? Over the course of the day, where do you see evidence of love? Agape is described throughout the New Testament as the fatherly love of God for us, and our reciprocal love for God. The term also extends to the love that we share for one another. Some of my favorite verses come from 1 Corinthians. Dust off your bible, and turn to 1 Corinthians and you will find much to do about love. Here are but two:

Love never fails; 
but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away;
If there are tongues, they will cease; 
If there is knowledge, it will be done away.
1 Corinthians 13:8

Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14

If you are wondering what on earth this has to do with education and leadership, I beg your indulgence. I believe there is a direct correlation. At our most basic level, we desire to be known by another. If we make the time in our classrooms, in our schools, in our districts to know one another, to love one another, the power of that love will be great. It will allow us to do more, and to be more than we dared to dream of.

In a world that is in constant pursuit of the best, the brightest, the most glowing achievements, we often take for granted the most powerful ingredient of all - love. Without it, I argue there is less opportunity for innovation and creativity to take hold; there is far less risk-taking and sharing of ideas. What I propose then, is this - we slow down. Take the time, indeed make the time to build relationships, to care, to nurture, to really love one another, and see where it takes us. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will take us farther than we dared to imagine.

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you.
And be gracious to you,
The Lord lift up His countenance,
And give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pride and Prejudice - Lessons for Leadership

I love the novel Pride and Prejudice, and I love the 2005 movie adaptation of it equally which rarely happens for me. So you can imagine my excitement, when our unexpected snow day yielded the opportunity to watch it on HBO. I felt a little bit guilty at first because there were plenty of other things that I could be doing, but I just couldn't pull myself away. As I sat there watching, I also couldn't help but make some connections between the movie, teaching, learning and leading.

1) Perception may not be reality. First impressions can, and often are, misleading.
2) Try to view things from multiple perspectives. 
3) Take the time to get to know others, and to build relationships. 
4) Humility.
5) Open communication.
6) Learn from the challenges that come your way.