I have found myself thinking this morning about the tens of thousands of school leaders welcoming, comforting, and supporting their school communities as they return from a somber weekend of grieving and reflection after Friday’s unfathomable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
My thoughts turned to a 92-year-old hospice patient with whom I had spent yesterday afternoon.
She told me that her life had taught her about the importance of celebration, noting that even a dreary afternoon, like the one we were peering out into, could be toasted with a glass of wine, which she happened to have near at hand as we spoke.
School leadership is about supporting the community as it grapples with difficult issues, like loss and sadness and fear. It is also about celebrating what the school community is and what it can be.
Such leadership requires listening deeply and compassionately to what is in the hearts and minds of community members.
It also requires focusing the community on the strengths it possesses and the resilience that has carried it through other challenging times.
I am confident that such conversations are occurring in schools across the country.
At such moments I am especially proud to be a part of the education profession.