I want this post to be honest. I thought of 5 words to describe my very steep learning curve of being a new principal. 5 words: amazing, humbling, rewarding, challenging and diverse.
My leadership journey in a nutshell goes like this: I taught for 9 years and I was thinking of be a principal, so I tried being out of the classroom as a literacy coach. Of course, I missed the students daily, but I loved being an instructional leader working with teachers and students. I then became the PYP Coordinator and started a principal credential course and my EdS in Educational Leadership. In February, second semester of the school year, the principal resigned and I was asked to step up and into that role. In my 11th year as an educator, I became a principal, two years earlier than expected.
An amazing part of being a principal is the perspective shift from a classroom view to a school view. Seeing the whole picture and how everyone in it operates for the betterment of each child is an awesome sight. I do my part to coordinate and collaborate with the canteen, admissions, student support services, technology department, student activities and more was new to me. The curriculum, school culture and instructional leadership are in my wheelhouse. All the other parts of the school, that work like cogs in a well oiled machine, make my days unique one to the next learning as I go.
A challenging part is when I am looked to for all the answers. Principals lead schools and know everything, right? Wrong! I am learning and practicing being better each day. I was challenged to learn on the job super fast but glad to have already been working at the school for 3.5 years. I knew where the copy machine was, but I didn't know the admissions process in the detail I do now. I do not have all the answers and I do not ever think I will. With trusting the team and working together, I know we can always figure any challenge out.
A humbling part is realizing that I do not need to be everything to everyone because I work with an amazing team. The teachers, assistants, the office staff, the counselor and the principal's assistant are all competent and trustworthy! Their first priority is doing their best for students each day and it shows in their work.
A rewarding part is when a lot of teamwork has been put into something and it comes to life. A big project was adopting a new curriculum framework. The PYP was a major win for our staff last year. Smaller more frequent wins are working with teachers to help a student with discipline or organizing a successful PD where teachers co-plan the agenda. I feel rewards each and every day. I am so grateful for this!
Diversity in the job comes from being an instructional leader to a tear-wiper at recess when a child gets hurt. From being a listener when a parent has concerns to a problem solver taking action. From being in admin meetings to playing leap frog at recess. The diversity of my day really keeps me going! My google calendar is my closest companion, literally.
Being a principal is not exactly like I expected. I had been watching principals be principals from my teacher seat and I let my ego get the best of me. Well, it is safe to say that my ego is in check. I love my new job as principal. Being able to serve the students in a different way is an honor and I look forward to principaling for an entire school year 2018-19 and beyond.