Stretch. Hydrate. Repeat.

Sometimes we bounce back. Other times we fail forward. There are even times when we find ourselves standing still. What I am learning in this season is how to embrace whatever state I find myself in.

This year has been a whirlwind to say the least. On March 7, 2020, I thought I was headed into a 2-week long Spring Break, courtesy of the difference in my & my children’s break schedules. Little did I know that by Monday I would be working 12hr days at a minimum as we all prepared to shift to our new instructional world. Here we are, over a year later, and I’m still plugging along, full steam ahead.

Leadership has looked different for me this past year, more different than ever before. Typically, I categorize myself as a very specific type of leader. However in the last year, I have had to become much more flexible in my leadership style. If I had to compare this season of leadership to anything, it would be parenting. In the same way that my children often need different things from me, the people that I serve also need different things from me.

Flexibility isn’t something that has been at the top of my list of “most important” leadership qualities. Don’t get me wrong. It’s always been top 10, but this year it has graduated to top 3! Flexibility is what allows me to bounce back, fail forward, and stand still. It’s what gives me the courage to advocate and the strength to be silent. It’s become something like a superpower over the last year. But most importantly, it’s muscle that continues to strengthen as it is used.

I encourage each of you reading this to take some time to practice flexibility in your own leadership journey. Rigidity is a thing of the past. And if we are going to be our best and make sure students receive the best of us, we are all going to have to be a bit more flexible.

2 thoughts on “Stretch. Hydrate. Repeat.

  1. Ashley, I’m with you. I’ve learned this year that no matter what state I’m in, I will be out of it at some point, and then I’ll be back in it somewhere else along the line… and to ride it out. Ride it out by moving aside school work and carving time to take care of myself. My mental health has really affected my physical health this year, and I want to stay strong. I want to make it through the school year. I’m glad we can learn through the struggle, then lean INTO the struggle and make it through. Thanks for sharing! Many of us are with you, and may this post help those who aren’t in this stage yet!


  2. I could not agree more!!! This year has definitely helped me exercise the bend but don’t break model. I am more flexible today than I have ever been and my students have benefitted from that greatly!


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