A few days ago I had my 30th “first day of school” as an educator.
Even though this is my 21st year as an educator, I still get excited. Will the day go well? Will I do a good job? Will I encounter a difficult parent?
Have you ever had that school dream about not hearing your alarm on the first day of school? I’ve had that dream for 30 years! For 30 years I have had butterflies when I bolted out of bed on the first day of school!
Like you, I always feel the huge weight of the responsibility that this chosen career path bestows upon those of us who are school administrators.
Sometimes the huge responsibility of this most rewarding position hits me square in the face.
I remember when I first began my graduate work in administration I quickly became overwhelmed with all the laws. I worried that I might break one without even realizing it. The enormity of the position truly scared me to death, but I knew that I was passionate about children and their education. I wanted to help teachers be the best educators they could be. I found myself asking these questions as a new administrator:
Would I know what to do in a serious safety situation?
Would I be able to handle delicate situations that could result in some type of legal issue?
What if I don’t address those tough situations in a timely manner? Will the issue spiral out of control?
Have I put all the procedures in place so the students are safe?
Did I communicate effectively to my teachers and staff so the first day and the year goes smoothly?
Did I set out clear enough expectations to my staff so the whole school doesn’t implode?
All of these are OUR responsibility!
These are all crucial questions to consider as a new administrator. The more you think through scenarios and questions and talk to other administrators, the better you will be equipped to handle such issues.
A wise mentor instilled in me to always do what’s right for kids,
have common sense and you WILL NOT go wrong.
This advice has helped me to get centered and to focus on kids. Kids are first.
As we begin this school year together, I challenge you to always remember what led you to the administrative position that you are in. Of course, you must address those important issues that are your responsibility but remember to have common sense and ALWAYS think of the students needs first. This will help center you in your decision making.
On those tough days when you aren’t sure how you will make it through to the end of the day because your armour was tarnished by 8:00 a.m., take a walk around the building and interact with those children you have not connected with yet. Go outside on the playground and swing with them. Sit with students at lunch and strike up a conversation about their favorite book, movie or game. Soak up the laughter and giggles you hear as they play with each other at recess. In these moments, you will find WHY you NEED those butterflies and how important your calling truly is.
But don’t blink……30 years goes by so fast!!
Enjoy every moment because every day is a gift!!