This post begins with a sincere thank you to all the educators who continue to stoke their fires of excellence daily and those who are determined not to allow their light to be extinguished. Thank you for all you do.

The weather is finally shifting and winter break is almost here. The cold weather can be indicative of more than just the changing of seasons, but a shifting in the climate of schools. By December, in most schools, we have traversed many obstacles inside and outside of the classroom. Some with more successful outcomes than others. Our measures of success or lack thereof either fan our flames or allows them to dwindle. December is the perfect time for us all, administration to custodians, to check our internal fires.

As a school leader, I consider it an honor to be able to do what I love each day. However, even while doing this amazing work, I too feel the immense pressure that, from time to time, tries to diminish my fire. I want so much to be everything to my school, my teachers, and my students. But there are finite hours in a day, and to my disappointment, I realize I am not superwoman. So how do we keep our fires lit? How do we make sure the flame outlasts the impending season? One answer is simple. Keeping our fire takes collaboration and support.

Collaboration can take on many forms. It could be an amazing PLC group, a colleague that pushes you to be your best, or an administrator that works with you and holds you accountable because he or she recognizes your potential. Collaboration is coming together.

Support is all about how we look out for one another in positive and meaningful ways. It’s not allowing each other to fall short, but encouraging one another, lending a helping hand, and understanding the power of what we are able to do for kids when we are all functioning at high levels. Support is about affirming and building each other up. Keeping each other’s fire burning bright. Lastly, support is about challenging each other to be better and helping each other and our students reach maximum potential.

Continuously keeping the fire burning and building a culture and climate of collaboration and support doesn’t just happen. It takes kindling, firewood, and sometimes a spark. This December, we hope to fan the flames and if necessary reignite some fires with our 12 Days of Live and Give. It’s a start and an opportunity before winter break for us all to collaborate on a 12-day project that mixes a little fun, with a little support, and a lot of goodwill towards one another.  Our final day includes a time for us to come together for a staff potluck breakfast to connect before heading off to break. 

What would happen if we only surrounded ourselves with people who sparked our potential and ignited our greatness through collaboration and support? How awesome could we be?