Day 25 (of 187) the job isn’t what you think it is
Being a principal is complex. Sometimes I like to tease (as an opposite to the US Army slogan) that I get less done by 12 pm than most people do before coffee! I know it’s not exactly correct and is more likely I get less “Planned Work” done because there are always “Unexpectancies” that pop up!
So….Educational Leader! Yep – absolutely – or at least I try! But Education Leadership as a principal is more about activating and encouraging teachers to be leaders (the work I did on redefining report cards essentially “stopped” when I became a VP because I was no longer a teacher (even if I often teach as part of my assignment). It’s more prompting other leaders to see their own leadership. It’s slipping articles/videos/links to all – even if you only want “one or two” to see it. It’s about always having time for “one quick thing” even when you’re already running late.
It’s about solving problems – coming up with ways for everyone to retain a level of dignity even if they messed up. And as far as “discipline”, we’ll, I heard a great share this morning when an Education Assistant was trying to get a student to do her job…..
Do I have to go get Mr Landy? (and from across the room from one of my “regulars” started to yell/plead- no! get him for me! get him for me!) because she’s learned to enjoy one of my most powerful office tools: time
(Time to: listen, to think, to speculate, to plan, to guess, to make things right. And sometimes make things better – admittedly not always, but a batter who gets one hit out of three tries is on their way to Cooperstown!)
Mr Landy, someone squeezed my neck! (More to the story – over the weekend. More more – at home)
At least I’m not alone. I know my secretary feels similar (we each think the other is much more successful than we give ourselves credit for…)
My Learning Resource Teacher also talked about it – specifically how our jobs enable us to be fluid – allowing us to be responsive when necessary because now matter how proactive we feel we have been…..well….the start of a week (especially after a long weekend <— the arch nemesis of all mental wellness) can throw some curveballs – and as this years NY Yankees team can attest…sometimes they get away from you….
But the nice part of education is the Groundhog Day (movie) secret. We always have tomorrow to get better – even if it doesn’t always seem or feel like it!
So we will continue to hear that “teacher training didn’t prepare us for ____” and neither did any Masters program. Nor did many mentoring practicums or BCPVPA shortcourse (okay – that one probably did the best to help “prepare for the unexpected”). But teaching is messy. It’s both humbling and empowering – sometimes at the same time.
But it’s not the job you think it is. It is so much better!!