Snow Moon

By Jane Rogers, IPLI Mentor & Leadership Team Member, and Superintendent of Milan Community School Corporation


Did you know the full moon in February is called the Snow Moon? It is named that because there is usually snow on the ground that adds extra reflection to the moon.

In education, we often lament the full moon, dreading its appearance because of the suspicioned effects it will have on our students’ behavior. Perhaps we can change our thinking using some scientific principles. The moon shines because its surface reflects light from the sun. Actually, it only reflects between 3 and 12 percent of the sunlight that hits it. From there, whether we perceive it to be bright or not depends on where the moon is in orbit at the time.

Now, what does this have to do with leadership? Let’s focus on the words “reflect light.” We can choose to embrace a full moon. You’ve heard of a “cup half full” philosophy?  Let’s have a full moon philosophy, meaning that the full moon allows us an even greater opportunity to reflect light. We can be the light that someone needs us to be. 

How can principals lighten and brighten a day? Give an extra hug at morning bus duty, take time to listen to an extra story at lunchtime, offer an extra high-five at dismissal time.

Remember that when we as leaders give light, it will help people find their way. Principals, take an opportunity to reach out to teachers.  Put a brief note in a mailbox or send an email letting them know how much their work is valued every single day. Call a parent with good news. 

If you light a path for someone, it will also brighten your path. Enliven your own day by carving out some time just to read a good book, reflect upon your work, or refresh by spending time with family.

The next time you see a full moon, let it remind you to be the light that brightens another’s path along our journey together.