Saturday, March 19, 2011
Basketball, mvongrue, uploaded January 24, 2009 via flickr, Creative Commons License
My 7th and 8th grade basketball team had a rough season this year. The team finished with a record of 10-17 and we battled injuries, tough losses, and very talented teams. In the midst of a losing streak in January, in a game where we were getting crushed, I called a timeout and told the boys that they need to stop getting frustrated about every single mistake. I could see the frustration on their faces after every foul, turnover, or missed basket. I told them it is no longer about making plays or winning games, they need to look at the big picture. They needed to decide what this season is all about for them. Was this a stepping-stone for reaching the goal of playing basketball in high school or beyond? Or is this possibly their last season of basketball so they need to learn some life lessons of hard work, discipline, and teamwork? At that point in the season, I decided we needed to stop focusing on individual plays and start seeing the big picture.
As I look toward becoming a principal for the first time this fall, I am trying to determine what is a part of my big picture. One item that I keep arriving at is communication. My wife had a good quote recently regarding communication. She said, “The root of all conflict is a miscommunication.” I think she is on to something. Conflict can be avoided through efficient and effective communication. Conflict can also be solved through appropriate channels of communication. It is helpful to spend time thinking about how, when, and why you will communicate. Conflict cannot be completely avoided, but effective communication is crucial to helping build relationships between students, parents, and educators that in turn will help provide effective learning environments.