Photo by Lucas Davies


The Forty Hour Project is all about encouraging school leaders to think (and do) differently. To challenge the status quo and to provoke as much “what if” thinking as possible.

Well, 2021 didn’t need much provocation.

.   .   .

Recently, I looked out my office window at the children playing – a typical lunchtime with 20 different games on the go. The way they sort of inter-weaved between and around each other amazed me as it always does, and it occurred to me strongly how those players had no idea of the complexity of what was happening ‘behind the scenes’ as we struggled with getting ready for next year.

They were firmly ‘in the moment’ and I doubt whether any of them was even thinking forward to when the lunch break ended. Lunchtime itself was an end point to savour after the challenges of the morning and before the new challenges of the afternoon.

.   .   .

There’s something naturally balanced about having an end point. Imagine if you lived forever, or didn’t need to sleep . . . sure there’d be a few benefits, but I suspect in reality it would be awful.

The summer holidays are a definite end point in the cycle of a school year here in Aotearoa New Zealand and in a few short days you will have the opportunity to embrace them.

I encourage you to do exactly that. Take a leaf from the play book of those happy, noisy, untidy students just outside your office windows. Relax into the holidays and live in that moment for as long as you can. We already know that 2022 has a myriad of challenges etched into its calendar but we have important work to do before then. We need to recover.

Steve and I are going to follow our own advice and step away from the work for a while now. When the final few days of next week are consigned to history, we’re going to grab our figurative buckets and start filling them up.

I’ll leave you with a final thought that always makes me smile a little wryly, because it neatly describes the truth of our human nature.

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Mark Twain

See you on the other side!


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6 thoughts on “Shutting The Door on 2021

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the weekly posts. I look out for them on a Friday and find them a source of inspiration to look after myself better so I can be my best for my kura. Enjoy the down time…all the best!

    • 40hourprincipal says:

      Thank you – it makes us both happy to know you are prioritising your own well being. Holiday with style!
      Kind regards Dave and Steve

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cheers guys. I always enjoy your posts and find them really encouraging. Have a great break – see you in the new year. Paul (Waimate Main)

    • 40hourprincipal says:

      Cheers Paul – we’ll be back rebuilt and ready for the next adventure! Take it easy.
      Dave and Steve

  3. Cheryl Davies-Crook says:

    Thank you so much for your blog, it has lightened the load on many days after I’ve read your musings. Have a lovely Christmas and a well deserved break. Cheryl Davies-Crook

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