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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reflecting On Educational Leadership

My son Seth, wife Amal and I at The Monastery atop Petra, Jordan on October 10th 2012
After having completed a short tenure overseas in the Middle East as a Middle School Principal at a private school,  I have a little time on my hands to reflect and  talk about it publicly.

I am sure most of my followers here and on Twitter are probably wondering and perplexed as to why it is over, and I have returned to the US.  Sadly, after over two months of building continuity, trust and deep relationships in such a short time with all of the stakeholders of my division (270 students and 44 staff members), the precariousness and volatility of the political climate which has escalated and continues to be uncertain, led for both a family and personal decision to leave what I had begun.  I would be remiss not to mention the fact there were other factors that led to this decision.  First and foremost amongst them, was the conflict in interests involving compassionate and quality education to children versus the private and entrepreneurial aspects of running a for- profit school.  I honestly did not believe there was such a huge gap between the ownership and the philosophy and intentions of caring, decent and competent staff and faculty.  All of us, in this particular capacity, catering and dealing with a clientele who invests financially on an annual basis as much money as any private school's tuition cost here in America.

Nevertheless, I took with me several unforgettable and invaluable learning pieces, and ultimately tools, as I departed and said farewell.

Number one, life in both a personal and professional capacity is all about quality relationships... 

The underestimation of the importance of communication and listening cannot be undervalued or dismissed...

Children, as I have long known, are fascinating and resilient in their resolve to forget, persevere and move forward despite all the obstacles and uncertainty in which both change and life itself brings upon us all constantly...

As heard before somewhere, managers do things right, yet true leaders do the right thing...

My life, or any life for that matter, is unimportant except for the impact it has on others...

No one has ever achieved or gained any level of success or happiness in life without the help and assistance of many others along their journeys throughout life...

In closing, it was very bittersweet in leaving the manner and way in which I was compelled to do, other than to say there is a reason for everything.  To this end, the reason has yet to be answered or determined.  As a servant leader, and as was confirmed by both my students and staff, with the many kind words and tears that were shed as I departed a couple weeks back,  I did my job well!  I gave hope, faith, confidence, encouragement and empowerment to each and every individual I spoke with and came into contact with.  I feel confident and stronger in the experience I gained on such an international platform and venue.  I move forward, as I know my colleagues will, with renewed confidence and strength, that as long as one is both compassionate and passionate to what he or she  is doing and whom they serve, that there can be no other alternative but continued growth, self satisfaction and success in their futures.

Godspeed to my Faculty, Staff and Most of all My Beautiful Students!   


  1. Hi Bill,

    I just sent you an email at, but I am not sure it's still relevant. I've got a friend who is interested in teaching in Jordan, Lebanon, or Morocco, but he doesn't have a degree in education. Was hoping to ask you a few questions. I'm interested because I have a web show about living and working abroad, and it would be great to get some more info about teaching in the Middle East.

  2. Best to reach me Alexa at Let me know how I may assist?