I’m going to make some mistakes. That freaks me out a little. Knowing the importance of working in education, I want so very much to get things right. I’m a principal, the guy in the tie, who ought to have the answers, and as tough as it is I know I’ll only be able to do my best if I’m able to be humble enough to ask questions.
Along with those questions, so many as I learn the culture of a school new to me and the policies of a new district, is the need to see myself as a learner, own my status as a steward to a great school, and embrace the opportunity to serve others with optimism and hard work.
And if I bring my best self to my work, then those mistakes, natural parts of being human, won’t be what defines me, though having the confidence to take chances that may lead to some of those mistakes certainly will.
When I have doubts about such things, or worries about not having the answer, I do my best to slow down and remember what poet William Stafford wrote about his craft in An Oregon Message: “I must be willingly fallible in order to deserve a place in the realm where miracles happen.”
How true for life as that is for poetry.
Mistakes? I’ll learn from them.
Questions? I’ll ask.
Is the principal fallible? Willingly.