Patience is a necessary principle for principals, yet it is not a strength of mine.  I am, by nature, a very fast-paced person.  I don’t like to sit idle; I am constantly doing something or even a few things at one time.  Seriously, even if I’m “relaxing” by watching a TV show I am also playing Candy Crush, painting my nails, or checking Twitter (or a pathetic combination of all of the above).  It pains me to sit and watch my child attempt to tie his shoe on his own for two minutes, when I can get it done in two seconds.  As a child, I was the devious kid that secretly opened my Christmas presents in the night and rewrapped them, because I was too impatient to wait for Christmas morning.
While I recognize the guidance in Joyce Meyer’s quote “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting” the practice of improving on my patience often feels more like this:
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What does this have to do with the principalship?  I recognize that patience is a weakness that I am constantly working to improve and a principal’s hectic days certainly provide many opportunities to practice patience!  I think it would be very challenging for a principal to be successful in this role, while constantly being impatient.  If I wasn’t aware of this as a weakness then I might blow off a parent or staff member needing to talk to share concerns so I can get something else crossed off of my previously written to-do list, I might make a quick decision on an issue without taking the time to check policy that would advise me on the right decision or I might miss opportunities to develop relationships with students during times that I would rather catch up on my loaded-up email inbox.  I also recognize that I can work hard to practice patience all day at work and then may readily lose my patience at home.  Recognizing that patience is not a strength, I keep in mind wisdom from David Allen:
The topic for this post was inspired by a group of fellow PLN
principals that I connect with daily.  You can find each of their
posts on Patience below:
Categories: Professionalism


Amy's Reflections · July 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I can SO relate to this post! As a former New Jersey girl, I walk, talk,think, and work fast and struggle with my own patience. As a principal, I too had to learn when to slow down, when to say, “I’ll get back to you after I research this,” and when to just give myself permission to stop for a moment! Thank you for the post!

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