I have been writing the Head’s Tale since 2012 and have now logged over 100 posts!  This is a pretty incredible number given that I would not have described myself as a writer previously and struggled as a reader when I was growing up.  It proves to me that with a growth mindset, you are never too old to learn a new skill!

As I’ve been blogging, I have come to realize that good writing connects things and evokes emotion or dialogue.  Good writing tells a story that the reader/audience can relate to.  It has the capacity to connect experiences, the environment, hopes, and new learnings. Over the past six years of blogging, I have come to realize the importance of:

  1. Writing in your own voice—most people are more interested in what you care about than the actual mechanics of how you wrote it.
  2. Reading a lot—words are the lifeblood of good writing and there is no way to get better without lots of valuable input and examples of exemplary writing to draw from.
  3. Capturing ideas—by drawing inspiration from other writers and speakers you can make interesting connections between one discipline and another.
  4. Finding an editor who will help you clarify your thoughts—if you have an editor whom you trust, you then feel safe following her, or his, suggestions (a special thank you to Nancy Pekter—English teacher at SMS—who helped me be a better writer over these past six years).

I have loved sharing my thoughts on those things that matter most to me.  Many of my meanderings have come from a myriad of perspectives and readings, with the primary goal of helping our girls be successful now, but also being fully prepared for a future yet to be imagined! The world is exceedingly complicated yet interconnected, as my blogs have noted and, reflecting upon the subjects I tended to write about, I realized that five recurring themes emerged:

  • The importance of growing in both confidence and competence.
  • The need to find your narrative and exercise your voice.
  • Defining your personal success story and following your own path.
  • The value of engagement with and contribution to our communities.
  • Finding your why and celebrating all that is right and joyful in this world.

It is essential that we help our girls engage in and feel comfortable with substantial discourse when it seems like the world is driven by tweets!  Tomorrow’s best leaders will lead with questions, not answers, and they will bring people together for constructive conversations focused around shared purpose, goals, and solutions.  Ultimately, we want to encourage our students to act with integrity, to be authentic, to be empathic, to be bold, and to draw from their own personal strengths and struggles. We want our students to approach challenges with a growth mindset based on curiosity and possibility, and, finally, we want them to be hopeful and positive about the world around them.

Thank you to the SMS community for allowing me to lead this incredible organization for the past eight plus years.  I have loved being part of a community of passionate educators, dedicated staff, committed parents, and, finally, I have relished being given the opportunity to participate in the many success stories of our students.  I cannot think of a better place to finish off my forty-year career in education. The compelling narrative of St. Margaret’s School, dating so proudly back to 1908, is inspiring and energizing.  It has been my honour to be part of sustaining this community of believers and supporters.  Sharing the stories of past students and their successes and connecting them to present student success stories of confident girls/inspiring women, has brought me much joy.

And finally, I look forward to hearing all the future stories of success that have yet to be told. For this is not a final goodbye on my part; rather it is an “au revoir,” as both the school and I turn our attention to the next chapters in our respective stories. There is no better way, then, for me to finish off this grand adventure and prepare for my next opportunity to lead, learn, and grow than by crafting this final blog—and, of course, by finishing it with one last quotation (actually two!).

“One’s philosophy is not expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

“Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.”

Margaret Wheatley

May you and your family have a happy, healthy, and restful winter break. Best wishes for 2019!