The State of the Union….How is yours?

Sometime this month President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address.  I’ve noticed that many school districts have borrowed the concept of the “State of the Union” address.  Some superintendents now deliver an annual State of the District speech.   I expect that most of these school district events are similar to what we hear from the President each year. It doesn’t matter whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican, you can count on four messages in the SOTU address: 

  1. Things are good.
  2. Things can be better.
  3. I know what we need to do.
  4. Follow my lead.

Mrs. Dawg and I borrowed the “State of the Union” concept a long time ago.  We established a tradition of each writing a “State of the Union” letter around the first of the year.  In that letter, we write honestly about the state of our little two-person union. What is working? What is not? What can we do better?  What are our hopes for the upcoming year?  We go to a nice restaurant. Being in a public place usually ensures that there will be no major blow up.  Usually.  After ordering, we open our letters and read them. Then we talk.  I’m happy to report that we already had our State of the Union date for this year.  I got my contract renewed. 

It’s a healthy tradition. As with most (all?) of the tools that have kept us happily together for 48 years, she gets the credit for this. But I was the one who dubbed it “the State of the Union.” 

You might want to try this.  And if you find the concept useful, you might want to expand it beyond your family to your co-workers. After all, you spend a lot of time with the people you work with, and they become, in many ways, another family.   You and the people you work with are a “union”—dedicated to serving the kids and the families in your school district. 

So the Dawg’s gentle suggestion is to give this a try.  Get with some of the key people you work with and write up a “State of the Workplace Union.”   What is working? What is not?  What can you do better? 

The start of a new year is a great time to have a good talk about such things. 


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at

Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday!!