Disconnect To Reconnect

“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.

Be Great,


8 thoughts on “Disconnect To Reconnect

  1. Great post, Dwight! There are so many opportunities to connect with others online, but it is essential to make the real person-to-person connections a priority. I agree 100% that you (the principal) need that more than anyone. They are the reason we do this work every day. I just completed my first year as a principal and regret how much of my time was spent behind my desk and in front of my computer. I miss connecting with kids and teachers dearly! That will be my #1 priority in year 2. Thanks for your thoughtful and honest blog post! – Jenny

  2. Terrific post, Dwight! As I read this post, I felt much discomfort as I could relate way too much. Although I haven’t had a courageous colleague bring it to my attention, I know deep down my teachers have experienced the same feeling. Thank you for posting this because I know it wasn’t easy. However, because of this post, I’m going to make the same adjustments and reconnect. Thanks again for sharing so that we can all learn from each other’s honest reflections. Shawn

  3. Great reminder, Dwight.

    Sometimes the rush that comes from our presence in social spaces makes us forget that our successes are almost never ours alone.

    They come from the work we do with with the peers that we know in person — and when we overlook the value of those relationships, everyone suffers.

    Thanks for sharing this…

  4. Dwight,

    Good post! The use of social media by educators has to have the same purpose as all the other important things we do. If what we do does not in some way support student learning, we are just wasting digital dust! By the way, sharing what you are doing meets that litmus test because we benefit when we learn from you! Continue to be a great leader….or not 😉

  5. I knew I was not a alone in this. I know exactly what you are talking about all to well. It is so hard to turn it off sometimes. I find being connected highly addictive. I am always trying to find that balance.

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