This past weekend I visited my mother.
It is close to a year since my dad passed away from a very aggressive cancer. On February 24, they would have been married 59 years. In Parkland School Division we talk about the importance of relationships and modeling. I have said to our Lead Team that we must find ways to balance the demanding lives of educators so we can be the best we can be both at home and at work. My visit was about focusing on personal relationships so I may be stronger in my position as a Superintendent. Sharing personal stories is not something I like to do, so why today? Well, I want to say to all of our PSD staff that while our ultimate goal of “Student Success and Well-Being” expressly focuses on students, the success and well-being of our staff is equally as important. Without you, our 1,100 dedicated staff, our Division would not be the leader we are today.
Well-being to me means striving to be the best we can be at our work place as we educate the amazing youth we work with. It also means looking after oneself and one another. Former CEO of Coca Cola, Bryan Dyson said it well in a 30 second speech:
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. They are work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air.
You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.
Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends, and have proper rest.
Value has a value only if its value is valued.
My mentor shared this with me in my first year of being a Superintendent. I have not forgotten it. I do not always model it, however, I do strive to. There are few careers where you leave on time and only work during office hours, but that does not mean we should not strive to look after all five balls. If we are truly dedicated to our profession, we will likely be challenged to strike the balance. However, if we remind ourselves to focus on our wellness, our students will certainly benefit.
We do want our staff in PSD to give it your all: to share your passion, and do what is best for our children and community and model the way forward. One of our teachers, Jessie McLean said it well in a recent post:
Don’t underestimate the impact you have on your students. It’s a power that comes with a great deal of responsibility.
Together, we will continue to do what is right for our future leaders/citizens in Parkland School Division. Thank you for your dedication to our youth! And, thank-you for the continued contributions you are making to ensure our students will be their best in a quickly changing global community.