The Cardinal Way

Sharing and Learning at Southport High School

Leading and Learning: MEETING EXPECTATIONS

I talked to a friend this week who was frustrated at her new job. She feels that there are so many new directives being put on people, the demands are seemingly too high, and the leadership seems disconnected from the reality of what everyone working for them is feeling.


In this conversation, there is an important lesson of leadership that I think we often overlook -- you can only push people as far as the relationship that you have built with them. Relationships are built on trust and caring, and if people do not see that you trust and care for them, they will consistently fail to meet the high expectations set for them.


When we have high expectations but fail to connect with the people around us, the environment and standards that are set will always seem excessive and unattainable. High expectations, without relationships, mean that you are trying to control people and outcomes, neither of which are yours to control. People control themselves, and outcomes are determined by the process you put into them. This type of environment causes considerable stress, as people feel like they can never live up to the demands.


Leaders with high expectations and little connection to those they serve may be successful in the short term, but they will never build anything that matters. To lead, you must have high expectations and care deeply about those you serve. You must always care more about who people are than what they do. There must be very high levels of connection, and appropriate levels of expectation.


Building strong relationships first does not mean you do not hold people to high standards. It just means the expectations come after the relationship. People will perform in an environment where they feel valued, trusted, respected, and loved. Once they are connected, then the expectations will be met.


I want to make sure I am clear on the following point. When I say leadership, I am talking about the way you lead your school, classroom, team, or home life. Wherever you are the leader in charge; teachers in your school, students in your classroom, players on your team, or people in your personal life will all rise up to expectations you set for them if they know that you deeply care about them first. The best principals, teachers, coaches, or parents I know have a high level of connection with those around them. Appropriately high expectations can then be built on this relationship. People will thrive and perform at a high level when they are connected and cared for by the leader.


If there are areas in your life where you are not getting what you expect from those that you lead, you need to examine the relationships you have built before you examine the expectations being met. Think about this as you go throughout the next week, take an honest look at who you feel is or is not meeting your expectations, and then examine the relationship you have created with those you feel are falling short.


Be a Cardinal; Change Lives; Put a Mission into Motion

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Cardinal Recognitions:

Thank you to:

  • James Thorpe for his work over the past week salting and clearing snow. James put in a considerable amount of time over the weekend getting us ready to return to school on Monday.
  • school counselors for spending time at the middle school on Wednesday helping our incoming freshman prepare for the next school year.
  • department chairs or representatives who attended the 8th grade parent night on Wednesday to answer questions for the parents of our incoming freshman
  • the athletic office for hosting a college signing day for three of our student-athletes that will be extending their playing careers at the next level. (picture below)
  • Jessi Walpole for giving her time to support the Dance Team. The past weekend the Dance Team competed and both routines, Jazz and Hip Hop, earned 4th place! They also earned the rank of High Superior! (picture below)
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Grateful Friday Challenge

Week 24: Grateful Friday Challenge

You may or may not realize this, but today marks the end of Week 24 of the school year. We start off next week with the time-honored tradition of Valentine’s Day. I know all of us can’t wait to see the balloons, flowers, candy, and teddy bears that will be walking the halls as a pledge to true and everlasting “high-school” love. But until that time - we need to spread a little love of our own…


It’s midway through February, and it’s pretty cold outside when the weather is acting right, and you know what warms you up? Smiles from your colleagues, but maybe you are saying to yourself I never really see (insert name here). So today, we will challenge you to take the no email challenge. If you need to send an email to someone -- don’t. Take a quick two-minute walk to talk to them in person. (If they reside longer than that away from your classroom or office -- I guess you are going to need to hurry.) Your #SHSGFC is not to email anyone you can have a conversation with today.


Can you do it? Can you go a day without emailing anyone in the building? Who will you talk to today? Who stops by to talk to you? Stay off your email and start a conversation.


**Mass school-wide emails are permitted for the sake of saving time. (So technically, this email is not breaking the rules.)


Walk to you later!! With banners flying as we go! #FlyAsONE

180 Days of Learning -- #CardsLearn

Hope you enjoy this weeks 180 Days of Learning Posts

Raye Jordan

Students in Mrs. Jordan's Nutrition and Wellness class made brownie recipes from scratch without knowing the type of brownie they were making. Once students tried all six types of brownies from the other groups, they compared the flavor and texture. Students then found that the six brownie recipes were: Vegan, Fat-Free, Sugar-Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, and Original basic. Overall goal was to lessen our preconceived ideas of a healthy sounding food and to have an open mind when trying new foods.

Boys Basketball

Boys Basketball hosted a teacher appreciation night on Tuesday. Each player on the team selected a teacher that has made an impact on their academic life at SHS. The players wrote a short paragraph about their honored teacher. These recognitions were read and the player was able to walk out on their court with their honored teacher.

8th Grade Parent Night

We had a great turnout on Wednesday night at 8th grade parent night. It was a great evening to invite our new families to Southport High School to help them understand scheduling and ever-changing graduation requirements. We appreciate the support of our school counselors and department representatives that attended to help answer questions from the parents after the presentation.

Dan Jones

Mr. Jones was discussing the structure of states today. Students explored the Giant Map of Africa to learn more about how the boundaries of different countries and how they affected each other.

Cory Sandvold

Mr. Sandvold's Health students are learning more about emotions. Students in the previous class took at "High Five" assessment which helped them understand character strengths. The students discussed these strengths and then began to discuss daily emotions they may experience. Students looked at ten different emotions and brainstormed a time in their life when they experienced these emotions. The students then took these experiences and created a visual representation of those emotions that will be posted in the classroom.

Educational Humor

Precision matters...and don't worry, this was not from our building!
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