Of Loss and Leadership

Every Sunday I sit down to prepare an internal newsletter for the Educators at RMB.  It provides the typical “school” reminders and a list of upcoming events for the week.  This year I wanted to focus on the purpose to be beyond the day-to-day functions of a school.  To align with our school division priority of Writing, I set an intention to write to my staff at the beginning of each weekly communication.  Often my writing reflects my observations from the week:  student and staff celebrations, community engagement and involvement, struggles and challenges, and personal reflection.  I initially set this intention to model how adults use purposeful writing within their workplace and beyond.  My writing takes time, several drafts, and on some weeks, a great deal of perseverance.  It is far from perfect, but that was never my intention, so I give myself a break knowing what the ultimate goal was.  Yes, was.

Last week, due to a heart breaking situation for one of our colleagues, the goal changed.  It changed from being something I felt I needed to do as a Principal, to something I needed to do for me.  As I sat down to write to the staff, all of the emotions from the week appeared on the screen through my words.  From sadness to gratitude, it was all there.  Each word was a personal reflection, and I mean REAL personal, on how our staff came together through a difficult time.  How each Educator took their compassionate leadership to a new height, respected one another’s grief, acknowledged and actualized a response plan in an efficient and nurturing manner, supported students with dignity, and gave themselves permission to be true to their emotions knowing that they would be supported by their colleagues without judgement.

What occurred was not luck or coincidence.  It was the result of a group of people making a commitment, with intent and purpose, to follow through with integrity.  These are the Educators at RMB.  These leaders model every day for your children what caring, compassionate and professional relationships look and sound like.

I don’t know about you, but I feel incredibly proud to know that these are the Educators who are teaching our students every day!

Mrs. Balkwill

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