My first week as Assistant Principal has wrapped up and looking back, there are many lessons that I have learned. The past few days have been both busy and exciting. It felt a little like I was in Grade 1 again. Administration Kindergarten was the many days of being “Teacher in Charge” and taking part in committees. But now I was ready for the real program, it was time to take the training wheels off. Some of the lessons here are new, but most were ideas that I thought were true and have now been reinforced by my experience.
Administrators wear many hats
Everyone said it, but now I know it to be true. When something needs to be done right away, the administration tries to make sure it happens. Some of the roles I have filled-in for this week are: caterer, custodian, building inspector, furniture mover, dishwasher, playground supervisor, lunch monitor, community outreach worker, barista, IT technician, not to mention teacher. The amount of activity that goes on in a school is astoundin and the different professionals who work with and for students are diverse.
Students are the reason we are here
Though it has been a busy week, students are the priority. I was happy to hear the number of times the question “would that be best for kids?” was used by staff. This shows that even though it might get hectic, the team sees the ultimate reason we are here.
You can’t do everything
There were times this week when I wanted to solve every problem myself. I was lucky enough to have some incredible mentors around me who encouraged me to let others try to deal with some problems first. I guess I just want to help, but I now see that helping sometimes means taking a step back and letting people work things out themselves. This is also about learning what to deal with immediately and what to let others do.
Balance is important
Again, I was lucky to have a great mentor who encouraged me to take time to be with my wife and for myself. I was able to leave at a decent hour this week and have supper with my wife (before getting some work done in the late evening). I was also able to take some time to process the week and the events that took place (which include this blog post). I could have worked until 10:00pm every night, but the school year is a marathon, not a sprint.
Good relationships make the job easier
I spent a lot of time getting to know people and discussing education this week. I have already seen the benefit of developing the relationship with the members of our school community. This is not a chore; I am truly excited to know and to work with the incredible team of educational professionals in our building. I also see how the relationships started this week are going to help us achieve our goal of providing the highest quality education to our students.
I know there are many lessons to come on my journey as a new administrator, but right now I feel very supported and confident for the year ahead.