Several years ago, my friend and mentor, Syndee Malek, shared with me the phrase “72 degrees and sunny skies“. The concept was that a principal’s attitude effects the climate of the entire school and therefore must be consistent and calm. The crazier things become, the more relaxed the principal must be. For years, I used the phrase with my staff and during presentations to ed leaders, reminding people to always be in the eye of the storm and I prided myself on remaining 72 degrees and sunny skies.
However, at a recent session with new and aspiring administrators, one of the participants asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. She asked, “What about when your skies aren’t so sunny?“. I had just shared with the group about the importance of being honest and real with staff and she correctly pointed out that everyone (including principals) go through rough times and are not always feeling “sunny”. After reflecting for a moment, I shared with the class that I had been mistaken. While a principal always needs to be 72 degrees (not running hot or cold), they don’t always have to have sunny skies. Things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. Instead, I said that principals need to be 72 degrees and CLEAR skies. For me, that means being honest about how we are doing, sharing our vulnerabilities, but always trying to see through the clouds for that clear sky (even if it’s not always sunny).
Educators are only human, but that can be a source of great strength. We are stronger when we support one another, are honest with one another, and realize that life has its ups and downs. As a principal, I still like to spread the sunshine whenever I can, but my focus will always be on consistency and honestly. For me, that means being 72 degrees and CLEAR skies, no matter what the weather of the day may be!
With my friend, Syndee Malek at MEMSPA Headquarters!
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself” – Bruce Lee
“You just have to be yourself and go with full confidence and be courageous.” – Gabby Douglass
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson
- Monday, March 11: IEP (Tanner) 8:20 AM, Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, Book Fair Begins, Jon to AdvancED Meeting at 2:30 PM
- Tuesday, March 12: Achievement Team (Jones) 8:15 AM
- Thursday, March 14: CLT 7:50-8:50 AM
- Monday, March 18: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
- Tuesday, March 19: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, Tornado Drill 10:00 AM, Grades due by midnight
- Wednesday, March 20: Sky Dome Assemblies in East Commons, Jon to Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Bridal Showers 4:00 PM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
- Thursday, March 21: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Sky Dome Assemblies in East Commons, Jon to M-Step Training 12:30 PM
- Friday, March 22: Battle of the Books, Report Cards go home
- Monday, March 25: Students of the Month assembly (Mindfulness) 9:05 AM
- Tuesday, March 26: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, Robotics Assemblies in the PM
- Thursday, March 28: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
- Friday, March 29: Author Visit (Allyson Apsey) 9:30-10:30 AM