I sat observing a veteran tumbling coach instruct a class full of toddlers as they ran in multiple directions and chuckled to myself. My three year old daughter was one of them and her attention to his words was lost on the equipment and materials around her. He maintained patience and smiled as he knowingly redirected the children to the next activity. So often, I feel like my job is inherently organized chaos, but with a focused goal of improving each individual teacher and student to their personal best.
He clapped his hands and cheerfully sang, “All the children must do their bestness” as he helped them reach in a straddle to their little toes or turn a novice sommersault. My heart filled with cheer as I observed his gentle, firm, and positive approach to working with his youngest students as he pushed them to their personal best while building relationships and rapport with their malleable hearts, bodies, and minds . At that moment, I was reminded of the type of principal and educator I continuously strive to be.
This coach has trained generations of athletes and is coaching the children and grandchildren of his first athletes. He has coached individuals to become world class competitive athletes, yet he worked as diligently and professionally with this class of three year olds as he does with his highest level of athletes.
His term, ‘bestness’ is his personally constructed word on his part to combine the words “best” and “greatness” that resonated with me for multiple reasons and is my 2018 #oneword.
So, for 2018, my #oneword mission is to reach my personal #bestness in each facet of my life:
- As a wife
- As a mother
- As a friend
- As a principal and lead lifelong learner
- As an author and change agent
- As a daughter, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter
On Christmas Eve, I opened a simple gift from my husband with the sentiment inscribed on a wooden plaque; “Do Your Bestness.” I placed it next to a small, but meaningful glass bull on the shelves flanking our mantle. That bull, given to me by my late grandmother, is a visual reminder that achieving your personal ‘bestness’ is not done without hard work, perseverance, and a lot of heart. 2018…. This is the year I strive to do my personal bestness… to become a better version of myself, to push myself to new limits, to accept challenges and opportunities with open arms, and to ensure I work toward being the leader that engages and empowers the staff, students, families and community around me to do their bestness as well.