If you were born in the 80’s, no doubt you sat for hours glued to your television playing Super Mario Brothers on your Nintendo Entertainment System. My sisters, cousins, and I agonized for hours in order to master each level. It took single-mindedness and concentration – a dedication of sorts. I can remember it like yesterday, the four of us, sitting in front of the television as Mario ran, jumped and fought each increasingly more difficult foe in order to save the Princess Toadstool. Each level we mastered, some easier than others, deserved a small victory. These were perilous times for Mario. Not jumping or simply not jumping far enough meant losing and starting over. It’s always funny to me, when I look back, the level of resilience we shared while fighting the enemies in the Mushroom Kingdom. We never gave up. We came back day after day.
This memory made me think about my daily leadership journey. Each day, I pull in to my parking space at school with a similar singled-minded determination to make a difference in the lives of my students. I want to ensure that they have the best educational experience we can provide. Each day, I walk through our double doors, pulling resilience out of my pocket like a Double Mint Gum, not just a piece for me but some to share with others–a smile, a positive word, a message of hope. When I pick up my keys and walkie-talkie for the day, I know there will be obstacles to overcome and large gaps that I will have to cross, but I know that each obstacle brings us closer to the next level. I will not be stopped. I am not afraid of starting over—my students can’t afford the cost of my fear. One day’s failure is a lesson well learned and the next day’s success is that much sweeter. We cannot give up. So I keep coming back, for my students (their lives depend on it) day after day.
There are all kinds of ideas, movies, games, books and characters that influence how we interact everyday. I’m an assistant principal with a heart for leadership and would I love to read some of your reflections. Please feel free to share your leadership reflection.