The signs in Canada tell the truth. Next to the politically correct “Cage Free Eggs” placard at the grocery store was another set before the cartons identified as “Caged Eggs.” You know what you’re buying.
Street signs, mostly familiar, offered the same clarity: circled green arrows confirming when turns could be made, and the odd addition that seemed a daring idea: “Left Turn May Be Made On Red Light.”
The sign that struck me most, however, was one I saw near the trailhead of Goldstream Provincial Park. At the mouth of a paved ribbon of road that snaked into the forest it read: “Two Way Traffic / One Lane Road.”
Being a principal is often fun, never boring, and sometimes a lot like directing traffic. Opinions drive at you from different directions and being the guy in the tie means figuring out how to help everyone share a one lane road.
This isn’t to imply that the way is narrow, but with legal requirements, specific resources, and infrastructure constraints, not all the cars can be on the road at once.
Horns will honk.
There weren’t any cars on the road at Goldstream Provincial Park as we were hiking in, but if there had been I’d hope that as they waited their turn to go they would have looked around at the beauty of the forest surrounding them. The one lane road was the least important part of this picture. The sign wasn’t the highlight either. Around them both trees grew, birds sang, and a celebration of green announced the majesty of nature.
So too the beautiful part of a school isn’t the opinions we bring to how it should function, but the grandeur of learning and the growing passion of our students.
As a principal it’s important that I look after the traffic, making sure each driver gets her turn and we avoid messy mashups, but it is also important to remember that this one lane road leads through a verdant place of beauty, growth, and promise. Recognizing the importance of education helps me keep perspective and realize how important it is to look up from the sign and appreciate the forest.