Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rookie Mistakes

The last post I wrote was about what my learning journey would be this year, that I would learn more about how to keep myself healthy through my journey to wellness.  That would be the focus of my non-educational learning.  Today I got another area to learn in, and it really was not a surprise or an unknown area.  Today I learned about making Rookie Mistakes.

For those of you not in the Plymouth area, or long time blog readers, today was the opening of the School of Inquiry, our New Tech Network PBL School within a School.  It should have been an incredibly exciting day seeing my staff getting work with and build relationships with our students.  Instead, it became-for me the day of Rookie mistakes.  My first Rookie Mistake came as I was walking down the hallway towards Inquiry, after spending the morning supervising student pictures in another part of the building.  Jen, my director of professional development, came walking down the hall with a big smile on her face.  She expected me to ask how it was going, I instead asked what time our Wednesday Collaboration Meeting was to begin.  It is not that I did not care about how things were going, nor was it that I didn't want to hear, but I wanted to make sure I would not be late for the meeting and have time to make one last check on pictures, plus I wanted to hear how everyone's day was going.

My second rookie mistake was made later in that very meeting.  As we were having some idle conversation, while waiting for all staff members to arrive, I mentioned that I was either going to workout after school, or play golf with the principal of the high school.  One of my staff members was sitting next to me, and he said play golf.  While nothing more was said, the look on his face said all I needed to know.  He was thinking, "we are killing ourselves doing all of this work and change, and he is going out to play golf."  I instantly regretted saying it.

I had forgotten the number one rule of team building.  We are all in this together and all must be "All In".  When I was a swim coach, I was able to get our swimmers to work incredibly hard for long hours, but I what made it work was that we were all there together, all working hard, and all present at every practice.  I had forgotten to always be All In.  While my staff was having a exciting, and due to all the change, stressful day, I was not present-as I was fulfilling my duties at picture day, and I was then going off to play golf.

Rookie Mistakes are not in and of themselves fatal, and they happen to help us grown. How we respond, determines this growth and lack of fatality.  I just wish they were avoidable.

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