In reflecting back on 2015 and preparing for 2016, it was very difficult to narrow down the most applicable words to describe my current leadership role, my responsibilities, and my life in general. Words that came to mind included perseverance, strength, and empower, among others.
On New Year’s Day, our family endured a devastating experience. We lost our baby girl unexpectedly at a 22-week ultrasound appointment. Needless to say, we were sad and in disbelief.
For months, my wife would whisper the words “little one” in a calm, soothing, and charming voice. It brought smiles to all our faces in thinking that we would have a little sister for our boys. This week, we have struggled to find strength in such a tragic loss to our family. Our “little one” became our “little angel” hence the chosen name, Angelina. In addition to the support we continue to receive from our family and friends, I also personally look at other ways to find resilience.
In 2016, I intend to live the word “resilience” in my current administrative role, my marathon training, and in my life overall. I also intend to develop this quality in others: my family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else that crosses my path. I hope to inspire others with my story.
I build resilience through running. In reflecting on our family’s misfortune, strength will come from it. During my marathon training in 2016, Angelina’s footprints will be hanging from my laces, with me every step I take. As a life goal, I intend to run 22 marathons to represent the 22 weeks of joy that our family experienced before saying goodbye to our baby girl.
As a visionary, instructional leader, it is my goal in 2016 to provide my middle school with a sense of resilience when confronted with challenges. This is not always a smooth process; and this is where resilience will carry us through. With the many pressures of classroom teachers, it is crucial for leaders to have open eyes and open hearts, which in my mind can develop a shared resilience among staff.
It’s the support that leaders provide when difficult situations arise that strengthen the staff, the school, and most importantly, impact student learning. This is resilience. An administration that embraces change and values input develops resilience. A school climate that involves all stakeholders and welcomes all ideas and opinions promotes resilience.
In 2016, we need resilience. As a student, I never gave up. As a full scholarship track runner, I never gave up. As a coach, I never gave up. Likewise, as an educator, I will not give up. And lastly as a parent, I will not give up. No matter what adversity we face in our lives, we must develop the quality of resilience and the most important method to do so is to involve a group of people who support each other. Whether it be family and friends or a school overall, resilience carries us through.
In 2016, be #Resilient. #OneWord2016 RIP #AMLongo