“Be yourself” is a phrase commonly said to help us be comfortable. As we reflect on our contributions to kids and our service to our communities, I wonder if we should not be ourselves.

The kids we have this year are different. The parents we have this year are different. Our team members, curriculum, resources, and facilities may be different. Why then, would we want to be our same selves? If being ourselves means being comfortable, are we trying new things? Taking risks? Having candid conversations with genuine feedback and honest reflection to learn and grow?

I believe things (generally speaking, as well as specific days, units, meetings, team accomplishments) went one of two ways for us last year: not the way we had envisioned and we’d like to make things different; or very well and we want to build upon that to be even better. Either way, we are revising. It may take more than just “being ourselves” to fulfill our newly formed visions and expectations. This year, we must be our new and improved selves.

In working toward newly defined goals for this year, we must keep them at the forefront of our daily processes and routines. We must hold ourselves accountable. Some of us are successful posting our goals near our beds, on our desks, or in our notes on our devices. Others may increase accountability a bit by publicly posting in our classrooms or offices. Yet others may ratchet up the accountability–as well as pool for ideas and support–by sharing with a spouse, trusted colleague, administrator, or team.

With candid reflection, learning, growth, and revision, our kids, parents, teams, schools, and communities are getting a new and improved “us”. I caution against “being ourselves”; unless, of course, we have defined our identities as reflective and ever-evolving. In that case, by all means, let’s continue to be ourselves!

About Sam LeDeaux

Administrator. Teacher. Learner. Coach. Chicago metro area. Passionate about kids, learning, and education. Follow me on twitter @sledeaux84 and at ConnectedPrincipals.com.

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