There is a tradition at my campus each November. The third grade presents a huge Veteran’s Day program. There are elaborate costumes, gut wrenching songs, and even more special, heartfelt reverence and appreciation.
Frequently we challenge the status quo of always doing the “same ol’thing” and I, in particular, am a fan of making positive student supporting changes. But when looking at the tradition of the Veteran’s Day program that I am in awe of last night…I can’t imagine it not being a part of what we do here.
Now, I have ALSO been a part of cultures where the same thing is done each year, but there was no ceremony…no tradition about it. It was just “the way it was always done”. It was easier for the teacher, it required minimal thought/effort. There’s a difference and a good leader can tell between the two.
When making changes, make sure that you aren’t changing for changes sake. Evaluate what you are wanting to do, talk to the people involved…gauge the impact change would have. As a leader (and we are all leaders in one form or another), it is very important to understand the power of we have in our choices and changes we make.
I was honored to read a list honoring our veterans and the wolves who love them last night. I was prepared with my list, knew how to say each tricky name. What I wasn’t prepared for was each service member and his/her wolf walking up to the front of the stage beside me. Some brought ornately framed pictures, instead of a person.
(Note: These are the things you should warn your new principal that are going to happen!) I know while reading those first four names my voice cracked, and I almost started bawling. (I kept reciting in my head rainbowsunicornsYOUARETHEPRINCIPALunicornsrainbows.)
It was moving. It was powerful. It was humbling.
And it will not be changed, anytime soon.