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It’s been 3 weeks since school started and the beginning of my new position as a K-5 Assistant Principal. I’m questioned all the time by my friends and family as to how my new gig is going and whether it’s what I expected. Honestly, I’m absolutely fired up on my new leadership journey. Although there are times I feel that I’m breathing through a straw right below the surface of the water, at least I know I’m breathing.


As I sat on my mower this afternoon, I was continually running through my week ahead. Trying to picture a Google Calendar mentally while riding a mower across an uneven yard is challenging but doable. I began to run through my upcoming meetings both administrative and committee, wondering current direction and future course. I began to think about my teams: RTI, Data, Leadership and again, began to think about what students and staff I’ll be affecting. Is this what’s best for kids? Is this going to put him/her in a place to be successful? Is data truly driving our decisions? As my mind wonders – simultaneously riding my mower as if on auto-pilot – I’m realizing that I’m thinking only about my week that involves my work and career.


Yesterday was the Imogene Pass Run (17.1 miles, 13,100ft mountain pass, 6000ft vertical ascent and a 5000ft decent – BURLY) and for the last 10 years I have volunteered and run an aide station. This station sits at tree line, approximately 11,200ft above sea level – which makes for a great sunrise. Once tables are set up, gatorade and snacks placed out, my 5yr old son and I, with our down jackets and beanies on, take in our surroundings. I breathe in and out several times to completely relax and take in what lies before us. This is where I belong right here, right now. As runners begin to ascend up to us, I find myself doing what I love best, yelling and cheering for these elite athletes. Yelling such things as “Good Morning”, “Welcome to the San Juans”, temperatures and wind speeds but along with all of my greetings, I found myself reminding these runners to stop and look up at where they are, “Don’t forget to smell the roses because you know what your shoes look like”..


The smell of gas and fresh cut grass bring my subconscious back to reality and yet refocuses my thoughts about the upcoming week. I began to think about my 5 year old and his first year in Kindergarten. Is he enjoying it? Has he made any new friends? I began to think about our 3 year old and how she makes me laugh throughout my day (in her presence or not) with her 3 year old antics. And, then there’s my 10 month old, who is on the verge of crawling, saying my name (Da, Da) and cutting two new lower teeth. Will he be racing around the house by the time I get home Monday? Then there’s my partner, my best friend and the rock of our family – my wife. A kindergarten teacher herself who seems to have it all dialed in and enough energy to light the sun. Where is her head this week? What can I help her with, without asking? When’s our next date night?


Then I began to think about me. Who’s taking care of me – both mentally and physically? I find that although I’ve chosen a path both in family and career that creates chaos at times and peace in others, I need to make sure I’m giving myself some attention. A run, bike ride, or my new found religion Crossfit has to find a fit into my day. But where? When? With everything and everybody else in my day, when do I have the time, focus and or energy?

breathe…and realize how balance must be your center and all good will flow towards it

I hope whoever is reading this post can say the same and realize that there are enough hours in the day.

Get off the couch and breathe…

Never forget 9/11/01 and our freedom


About mountainteacher

Tech-Minded Elementary Assistant Principal who is learning, reflecting and collaborating. Husband, Daddy, Adventurer, Balance - #mtnliving #summit4stemcell


5 thoughts on “breathe…

  1. As a dad of youngins… and a leader in today’s schools, this was a good read. Although it may sound trite, and quite against what I require from my students, I’ve got nothing to add other than… this was a really great read that I enjoyed.

    Keep on keepin’ on…

    Posted by Sean Nash | September 11, 2011, 5:23 pm
  2. Cool. We got allot in common you and me. Two teacher families, young kids, cycling, mountains, k-5 leadership… would be great to connect in person sometime. Let me know if you need anything.
    Cheers brother- be well.

    Posted by Sean Grainger (@graingered) | September 11, 2011, 10:25 pm
  3. Thanks for this. I am struggling a bit right now with all of the extra jobs I have taken on…PE head, volleyball coach, league scheduler, tournament planner. Not to mention the big ones I always have on my plate…mom to two (my youngest is in Kindergarten too), wife, LA and SS teacher. I was just wondering this morning if there are enough hours in the day to get it all in. Thanks for reminding me that there are and that I can do it. I think I will keep a straw in my class to remind me 😉

    Posted by Marci Laevens | September 11, 2011, 11:17 pm
  4. Nice. Being from NW Montana, I appreciate the imagery, and the two-educator household sounds terribly familiar. Keep breathing, one breath at a time. You’re doing a really fine job.

    Posted by matthewweld | May 7, 2012, 9:42 pm
  5. Thanks for this post. Teaching and Leadership can get a bit overwhelming -if you let it….we never will achieve all we want to achieve each day, week or year! The trick is to remember what we are doing it all for…and whom!

    Sometimes we each need a reminder that centres us …so that we are ready again for the myriad of tasks that each day brings.

    Thanks again for this post- I got a lot out of it.

    Posted by FManning | July 14, 2012, 4:39 am

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Adam Truitt



Tech-Minded Elementary Assistant Principal who is learning, reflecting and collaborating. Husband, Daddy, Adventurer, Balance - #mtnliving #summit4stemcell

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