Day 185 (of 188) Educational Leadership Opportunities – not always the job you think it is
Today was a mix of educational leadership thinking.
On the positive, I was ‘unopposed’ in offering to be the president of our local BCPVPA Chapter – an honour I hope to be able to live up to as I work with my colleagues (hint: twitter hashtag chat coming soon: #bcpvpa83 ?). It also connects nicely with my upcoming work at the BCPVPA/UBC ShortCourse – a summer session focused on helping new PVPs learn some of the tricks of the trade and key skills to help new educational leaders….
the job you want/get ain’t necessarily the job you think it is going to be….
As much as we would like to think of ourselves as educational leaders focused on “best practices” and “enhancing learning opportunities” etc, I got the flip-side reminder today…..
One of my teachers (likely a future PVP) and I met with a dad who needed to ……. talk. About his child; his family; his stressors; what he hopes will happen; what has happened….and it can be hard. My teacher admitted that it really got to her – putting pieces of the puzzle together to help better understand her learner. Because we don’t teach curriculum (even though we do), we educate learners – and sometimes that means knowing more about the learners than we may want to know. I had to take a moment because she has not heard many of these conversations: the ones that remind us that the life for our students isn’t necessarily the same as what we had (or our own kids experience).
sidebar: my daughter came back from her class finals with an absurd 95% – yet another student (thanks to the public posting of percentages) had 5%. We had a quick debrief because this connected to my earlier meeting – at what point do we as educators ‘get involved’ and focus on what is going on with our learners. Sure “it’s up to you to catch up with work” works for many….but not all…..especially when there are bigger issues going on at home than completing chapter questions.
That’s as important a part of our role as educational leaders as what goes on in the classroom; what goes on at home. And you can’t expect parents to freely & fully disclose what is going on at home – that takes time for parents to trust the learning community enough to open up. While it is easy to think about the negatives (and inarguably the toughest part of being an educational leader) there is always a silver lining: another parent has felt comfortable coming to the school and opening up. So that we can help the learner where they (actually) are – not just where we wish/would like them to be. And sometimes it’s a little bit more than “read for 20 minutes each night”. It’s one thing to say “it’s not easy being a principal” it’s another thing to actually experience “why”.