Purpose & Positivity, part 1 #thefirstyear

breaks-over-time-to-remember-what-day-it-is-and-wear-real-pants-61f1dI can’t believe my first semester as principal is over. This being the only post I’ve made in December shows just how fast it has flown by. I think I’ve started 5 different blogs this month and got carried away each time. I’ll just delete those and combine here, πŸ™‚

I need time to both slow down and hurry up. My superintendent says it best, “The years are fast, but the days are long.” I want time to move quicker so that I can get through all the firsts. Everything on our calendar, through each day, is another “first” for me as principal. Each experience sets the new normal. I am defining how things will look moving forward, advertently and inadvertently. I want to get through all these and feel more secure in what my world looks like. At the same time, I want to savor each opportunity. I want to appreciate that I ‘ll never have this “first” experience in this role again. I can’t believe I am already half-way through this year!

Things I’ll continue:

  • Daily positivity quotes: I started posting a daily reaffirming quote on FB each day several years ago when dealing with a particularly ugly professional situation. I literally post something every day that speaks to MY heart but get so many people that say it speaks to them as well. Though that time thankfully has long past, I still enjoy posting.
  • Owning my calendar: I use an Erin Condren planner and have gotten into the habit of writing it ALL there. From walk-through plans to my beat’s basketball games, it serves as a guide, as a compass, and an easy way to journal what each season of my world looks like. I’ve written about it before here, and you can get $10 off of your very own here, πŸ™‚
  • Keeping up: I take this notebook to every single meeting I go too. I tab the tops with the date and meeting title, and it has been SO MUCH EASIER having all of my notes in one place. I know it is contradictory for me to be so “techie”, and still depend on my planner and notebook, πŸ™‚ but it is what it is! You can get $10 off on for you here. (And yes, I could have bought a regular ol’notebook at the store, but this one is so much more sturdy, and taking it with me everywhere, I needed it to be dependable.

Things I won’t continue:

  • Not owning my calendar. When I hit pause on writing it all down, I inevitably get behind. I even plan in when I am going to plan. I have a poster in my office where my AP and I wrote down ALL the big picture items to focus on this year, and if it isn’t on that poster, then it can’t take up my time. Sometimes saying no is harder than saying yes!
  • Feeling guilty about all the no’s. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by the awesomeness of some pretty great principals. I have got to stop thinking I can keep up with them all. Every day I see something that makes me go “Oh! I want to…” and I have to come back, look at my big picture poster, and self-monitor myself. I have time to do all the things…it doesn’t have to happen this year, or at the same time!
  • Hitting compacity.Β Angela Watson is a pretty great friend of mine, and she asked me a pretty direct question recently. Am I moving at a pace that I am going to maintain each year? I have spent more of my $$$ than my husband can ever know about (gulp.), spent more late nights at school, created “more” than I ever have…and at some point, I need to realize that I have to set parameters on what I am giving. I wrote about checking your scales here, and in 2016 I am going to be a better balance’r. Another smart friend told me think of it this way,Β 

That being said, I will be better about posting this semester, πŸ™‚ Thank you to those who have emailed asking where I’ve been. I am back on the bandwagon, and will write more regularly. I also have some fabulous new “Fab Friday’s in February” I’ll share soon!

Hope you and yours have had a great holiday and a happy new year!




  1. Paul McGuire said:

    Great post Amber. – Congratulations on your first semester. Great wisdom here – remember to pace yourself, this is the most important thing to remember, especially when you see all the great things you can do in this position. It is essential to remember that it is a long road we are on. Good luck in the new year!

    December 31, 2015
    • @8amber8 said:

      Thanks Paul!! πŸ™‚

      December 31, 2015
  2. irene Hannigan said:

    So many of your thoughtful reflections on your journey as a principal resonated with me! Striking a balance in your work is critical. I also remember having one calendar that included both home and school events. I also maintained a journal throughout my first three years which helped to center me, solve problems and greet the upcoming week with renewed optimism. When I retired 4 years ago as an elementary school principal, I published a book that you might get a kick out of called A Principal’s Journey-The School as My Classroom. Best wishes for a successful journey of your own!

    December 31, 2015
    • @8amber8 said:

      I love this! I will def check that book out!! Thank you for reading, commenting, & sharing.!

      December 31, 2015

Comments are closed.