To Teach as Jesus Did:
Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
June 15, 2015
“A Time for Summer”
“There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven.
A time for giving birth, a time for dying;
a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted….
A time for searching, a time for losing;
a time for keeping,
a time for discarding…
A time for tearing, a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent,
a time for speaking.
A time for loving, a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
As mid-June arrives each year and schools close out their academic calendars, I marvel at the ways we’re blessed by summer. Although our work in the Central Office doesn’t stop during these warmer months (in fact, some challenges actually intensify because of the urgency of pending deadlines), everything does seem to look a bit different, easier, lighter, and more pleasant. Summer brings a natural pause.
Several weeks ago I cautioned the new principals, as we met for the last time during their “rookie year,” not to just roll one year into the next. I urged them to reflect slowly and carefully over the year just completed, noting successes and areas for growth, and then to entrust it to God and let it go.
Performance reviews, of course, are a great opportunity for this kind of reflection. They provide an annual time to thoughtfully consider, not just what we’ve done but also who we’ve been; what we’ve given and what we’ve received, how we’ve advanced the mission of discipleship during the year ending and how that mission has moved and shaped us.
Summer is also a time to think courageously and imaginatively about the year ahead. As the natural world is in full bloom, so—we hope—can be our desire to more fully develop our capacities, both personal and professional, in the year ahead. One of my favorite aspects of leadership has always been the opportunity to discuss with colleagues their deepest aspirations: to explore with them their potential, their possibilities, their goals, and their dreams. Perhaps we all can find some way, in the upcoming slower months, to do that for and with one another.
I pray that this summer, for each of you, will be
a time to reflect and a time to renew,
a time to look back and a time to plan,
a time of “break” from 2014 – 2015
and a time of hope for 2015 – 2016,
a time to be grateful and a time to grow.
A blessed and peaceful summer to all!
Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools