If you asked me what it meant to be an administrator 5 years ago I probably would have said something about strategic planning, the alignment of curriculum pedagogy, and assessment, and something uninspiring about a school’s mission and vision. If you ask me today, I’ll tell you that it means valuing your people and doing whatever it takes to create an environment that is conducive to students’ social, emotional, and intellectual growth.
I know the exact moment my mind changed about what it means to be an administrator as well. It was earlier this year during an interview for an Assistant Principal position in Clayton County. The hiring Principal was a dynamic and intimidating woman who explain to me that she saw her students and parents as customers and that she felt it was her job to ensure that their experience in her school was one that they would always enjoy and appreciate. She spoke about sweeping floors, painting walls, wiping tables during lunch duty, and cleaning toilets if need be. She explained to me that no job at the school was too small for her time or attention if the job’s completion would make the difference between an experience that helps her environment and one that harms it.
I’ve spent the last week mopping and sweeping floors, wiping down tables, and taking out the trash during lunch duty. That isn’t my job, but I felt like my students deserved a clean cafeteria in which to eat and socialize. I think the kids appreciate it. I’m pretty sure my custodian appreciates the help.
Even though I didn’t get that Assistant Principal job, I left that interview with a better idea of what it means to lead a school. I’m thankful for that. And I’m better for it.
As always, I haven’t proofed this post, nor will I. Thanks for reading.