First Year at the Helm

When I took over the Head of School position from Pastor Linda last March, I was fairly prepared for what to expect. I more or less coasted through the end of the school year and worked hard throughout the summer to get the year started. It’s funny how things work out. Just when I might have gotten a bit cocky, thinking “I’ve got this!” Situations and events happened that have made me increasingly humble.

So, instead of a highlight reel of what has gone well this year, I would like to instead reflect on some of the things that I have learned in this first year as Interim Head of School at Yokohama Christian School. 

  1. Making decisions is tiring. As both a full-time worker and full-time parent, I have learned that being looked to for the “answer” can be exhausting. Sometimes I have the answer, and sometimes I don’t. The hardest time to not have the answer is with over-tired, over-stimulated children who need an answer right now! I am grateful for staff and teachers that are willing to wait when I do not have the answer, and to even prod me when I have been delayed in getting them an answer. Patience is a gift.
  2. We all learn through experience. As teachers and parents, most of us are intimately familiar with the fact that children learn best from experience. A parent can explain to a child how to ride a bike, but without the practice and experience of doing it a child will not learn how to ride a bike. School administration is similar. We review handbooks, policies, and try to provide for every situation that might occur, however there are some situations that cannot be foreseen and policies cannot predict. This year I have had situations where I have had to lean on people with more experience and gather more information in order to make decisions. I have been blessed by the teachers and staff around me this year and I am thankful for their expertise and wisdom every day.
  3. Balance is the last big thing that I learned I need to work on, which is still a work in progress. I need to try to achieve balance between my home life and my work life and to reach out for help with this issue. Have you ever seen the  following infographic? 

These three things have had me struggling this year. My house often feels like a tornado has hit. My kids are often fighting or yelling or not getting along. I am sometimes at my wit’s end trying to make everything work. At the weekends, I am often the only parent on duty as my husband currently lives in Kobe and travels back to “visit” about once a month. I would love to get out of the house and have “fun” on the weekends with my children, but when faced with the logistics of “going out” I often give up the idea because I’m outnumbered 3 to 1 by my kids. I hope that I may be able to find a way forward with better balance in this new year of 2020. If you have tips or ideas, I am all ears.

I know that as I continue in this job, each year will bring challenges and rewards. I will lean on my family, my colleagues, and hold fast to my faith throughout all the ups and downs. I will also remember that there is always something to learn.