Reflections on second week of being a principal

5 August 2016

Teachers have been back this week, and between training and meeting with teachers to discuss “whatever”, it’s been busy.  Not really in a hectic way, because the director before (who is still here managing all of our campuses) has done an absolutely wonderful job laying the foundation.  I’m very fortunate. 

Something that a previous principal of mine instituted was weekly meetings with each teacher to touch base – basically get out ahead of problems before they became big issues and get ahead of the curve a bit.  I’ve started that here and it’s been well-received.  Even on a small team, it’s amazing the difference in personality, confidence, and preparedness among teachers. 

A mentor of mine told me to just “be myself” as a principal.  I tried to do that as a teacher, and I’m trying to do that now.  So many people put on a face that matches their perception of their role, but it’s off-putting.  I try to use the same humor and personality that I would naturally use – perhaps limiting myself a little to avoid being overly familiar, but otherwise the same.  It seems to be working well.

I also believe that we’re not just one being at work and another being at home.  Everything influences everything.  If work is going horribly, home is going to suffer.  If your personal life is in shambles, your work life will be affected, even if you have the best job in the world.  I had the chance this week to just listen to someone who was having trouble with their marriage and kids, and just provide encouragement to continue to do the right thing.  This person was very grateful and I was glad I could be there for them.  I was curious how I was going to connect with this person due to not really having a lot in common, or so I thought, but we were able to get the relationship going just by some mutual understanding.

Two authors who have influenced me tremendously are Edward Hallowell, in particular in his book Shine.  Liz Ryan writes about the Human Workplace – she publishes loads of articles that are useful to anyone in leadership.