Your Mission Statement in November

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So, how’s that global citizen, creative, collaborative, interdisciplinary, inclusive mission statement at the bottom of your web pages doing? Seemed like a good idea when you were writing it during that retreat in the Spring of 2011?

How about now, on November 13, 2013? Are you living it? Dreading it? Resenting it?

November is a hard month no matter what your school setting (unless you just returned from a mid-term break). Public or private international or domestic, it’s a hard month. It’s a month where a lot of people lose perspective, wonder if they can take another year working at their current school, and simply start counting the days to winter holiday. I have had two teachers in the past two weeks go on leave for personal reasons, which obviously adds even more pressure to everyone else. The students are cranky, the school nurses and counselors are at the breaking point, and the parents. Ah yes, the parents.

Stare at the above picture of the Philippines to get some of that perspective back.

We all have lofty missions at our schools. It is your responsibility to listen to the message of your missions in November.

It all looks good when the weather is nice and we are recruiting students, with lots of energy and drive. It’s a lot harder in the dark days of late Fall (depending on your climate and location of course), when it’s not so easy.

Well, I gave my best ‘pep talk’ today to my team to try to retain some of that perspective and to hang in there for each other, for our kids, and for our mission for just a few more weeks. Because if the leadership team loses perspective, then it all goes pear shaped.

So, as I sit back and write this with a bag of ice on the pinched nerve in my neck, (stress induced of course), I ask that you think of how hard it is to live in a part of the world where November is a lot, lot worse. And then maybe do something about it. Live your mission. I have a feeling it will make you forget that you are unhappy.

About Stephen Dexter, Jr.

Stephen is an international educator and administrator. A native of the United States, he lives with his wife Stephanie (a specialist in families in global transition) in Croatia along with his daughter and son. With a career that spans over twenty years in public, private and international schools, he writes when he can and is on a quest to discover if "text walking" is changing the human brain.
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