“Dwight is connected all over the world through Twitter and blogging, but he is not as connected here.” These are words spoken by one of my teachers and man, did they sting…
There are a number of ways I could have reacted to this, but I decided to take the high road and look within. After all, reflection is at the heart of our practice.
I asked myself if there was any kernel of truth to this statement. Well folks, I hate to admit it, but it was true. I began to relish in who I was connecting with across the country. I became so focused on telling stories about what was happening at GLHS through Twitter that I no longer made time for face to face interactions with my staff. I got away from walking the halls in the morning and, at times, throughout the day. I felt myself becoming increasingly impatient with small talk and I was no longer willing to be inconvenienced. I was quickly irritated, overly sensitive, and became less talkative. I started to dislike how I was doing my job.
As I reflected on the statement I referred to at the beginning, I made a deliberate effort to put away my phone (mini-computer) when I spoke with individual teachers throughout the day, I put it away when I got home so I could just relax with my wife and dogs, and I stopped blogging for a while. Actually, I went from late February to early June without posting anything to this blog. Some of that was intentional and some was simply a lack of desire to do so. Nevertheless, it enabled me to reconnect with others who were physically present. I had to intentionally and purposely reconnect with others, not just for them, but for me…
I absolutely love being an educator; a building principal more specifically. I love sharing what is happening at Gahanna Lincoln High School, I love it when we overcome challenges together. I love talking with members of my staff about their lives, and I love spending quality time with my wife when we have date nights or walk our dogs, Lilly and Lola.
And yes, I love positively promoting my school through social media, but it only matters if the people I serve feel that I am emotionally connected and present with them every step of the way. The bottom line: it boils down to the realness of relationships.