On School Leaders and Sandcastles

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Being a school leader must be a bit like trying protect a sandcastle against the waves: let off for just a minute, and things can start to go wrong, spend too long on one thing, and the other parts start crumbling. And all of this while you’re trying to make your towers touch the sky.

The temptation must be to try and buy a little time by ignoring the bits that seem as if they are on safe ground in favor of those which seem a little too close to the swash. But, as any sandcastle builder will tell you, it’s most often the parts that you never expect to fail that slump and slide into the surf.

Keep protecting the parts that you know are going to wash away, while ignoring the parts that seem sturdy, and soon enough, the whole castle will end up a featureless lump in the sand.

Instead, I think it may be best to let those bits that are going to wash away do so, while reinforcing the parts that are solid. And then adding more bits like the ones that are holding up well. 

And it can’t hurt to build the whole thing on higher ground.

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