Thursday, March 13, 2014

Principal Concern

I really don't know how they do it. Four schools this week in two different states. Four principals. Two high schools, two middle schools. I don't know how these people are standing up. I am not saying that to flatter them or fawn over the role or further their esteem in others' eyes. This is a genuine, honest to goodness intellectual curiosity: I have no idea how principals are doing the job anymore. In my humble estimation, the principalship has become an undoable job. It's a wonder any one lasts a year in the job, never mind the national average of 3-4 years.

In each school I was in, the combination of planned meetings requiring energy and attention (which included attendance at Aspirations Team meetings), and the unscheduled or scheduled at the last minute meetings, which also needed the principal's energy and attention, would have overwhelmed all but the most competent of jugglers. And yet these incredibly busy people found time to sit with student teams and listen to their ideas about how to improve school and worked alongside staff as they sought to improve the 8 Conditions in their buildings. As undoubtedly they considered the email inbox they were going to return to, the bus duties they had yet to find coverage for, the after school meeting at central office about making up for school closings due to weather, the impending testing season, and the parent meeting they had that evening, they sat and listened and participated and gave every indication to every one present that this was every bit as important as everything else.

John, Margaret, Steven, and Judy, you were my Heroes this week. Your energy propels me. I have just one question: When do you sleep????

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