Slowing down is one of the hardest concepts for me to embrace. I’ve always strived for constant growth. One of my favorite sayings from my high school days is from a poster that was hanging in the weight room which said, “Bigger, Faster, Stronger”.
The Oakes Public Schools has endured a lot of growth in the last several years. Along with the growth has been growing pains that affect our students, staff, and community. Although I believe that the growth
has been an overall good thing, I think it is ok for us to slow down. Please note that I did not say that we want to stop growing. We should always be growing and moving forward but it does not need to be at warp speed. The idea to slow down should allow several of our district’s initiatives to reach fruition as we continually monitor progress. Slowing down will allow us to see more clearly the day in and day out activities that we do well along with those that need improvement. Slowing down also allows our bodies and brains to recuperate from the strain of hasty progress. The 2018-2019 school year at Oakes does not include major changes as of this writing. My plan as the superintendent is to use the upcoming school year for us to hone in on the basics and embrace doing the simple things well without adding additional initiatives for our students, staff, and community.
Maybe this concept of slowing down from time to time is something we should embrace in our personal lives and set as an example for our students. Some days I feel like we are running ourselves and our children ragged. Progress is no doubt addicting. When I think about the fast pace I struggle to have a solid answer on why I am pushing so hard. Am I heading for a finish line? Am I going to be happier once I get to the finish line? Am I going to regret not looking around and enjoying the time I spent in the race because I was solely focused on the finish line?
Life will undoubtedly include seasons with different paces. The future is exciting; however, the present is here and I don’t want to miss a single minute of it.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…..including you.” Anne Lamott