Why do I lead?
I love this question. I think about it a lot. People often ask me how I like being a principal. I hear other administrators talking about being in a leadership role. Sometimes they say things like, "I was ready to be out of the classroom." Others say, "Being a principal is the best job ever." The path to school leadership is different for everyone, and I wonder sometimes if people love it, and if they don't, why not? How did they get there? Why do they lead? And I think about myself. Why do I lead?
I'll start by saying that it IS the best job ever. I love it. I can't wait to go to school. I love all of it. Yes, even budgets, even bell schedules, and drop off in the morning is one of my favorite parts of my day.
I lead for three reasons.
- I love learning.
- I love sharing.
- I love small moments.
I love learning.
Learning is magical. There is nothing quite like being there when kids are learning. I spend as much of my day as possible in classrooms, talking with kids, and watching them as they try to make sense of their world in big and small ways. The book that delights them, the math problem they conquer, the idea that takes shape and you can see it in their eyes. Every day, it's like I've blown on a dandelion and my wish has come true because I get to be see magic happen for kids. Passion ignited. Smiles of success. Kids digging learning so much that they don't even notice me.
I absolutely loved being a classroom teacher. It was magical and I was able to create a space where my goal for 26 students every year was to discover the world and a love for learning. I wanted my kids to be so excited about school that they would run to school every day. As a leader, I have the opportunity to help create a whole school with a mission to make every day AWESOME for kids. I get to say yes to all kinds of ideas that might seem crazy but are amazing. I get to create a budget that provides kids with opportunities to prepare for their future- a budget that includes robots and coding and creativity and not just textbooks that inspire no one.
And the learning? It doesn't stop when school gets out and it's not just for kids. It happens on weekends, at night, on Twitter, and Voxer, and Facebook. I love learning with and from others. Learning happens in the teacher's lounge, on my commute, and at conferences. I think that schools are amazing when everyone in the building is a learner.
THIS just happened today. On a Sunday. On Facebook-- our teachers learning and sharing! It happens all the time.
And at school...
|Teachers PUMPED to open Project Lead the Way materials!|
|K-12 teachers learning from each other|
I love sharing.
As a classroom teacher, I celebrated my students. As a principal, I get to share the story for our whole school! Every day, I get to visit classrooms and share what's happening on Facebook, on Twitter, to our families and the world. I get to make awesome phone calls home for students. I get to post the amazing things happening in our school on our school blog. I love being the storyteller for our school. Love it.
|Caught being awesome!|
|Celebrating our student-led Lego Club!|
|Awesome phone calls home on the speaker phone!|
I love small moments.
This might be the reason I most love to lead. The small moments. I love getting to know students and families. To be able to take the time to connect and to learn their story. I love being able to provide the quiet, safe space for a student who is having a rough day. I love hugs. I love eating lunch with the funny 4 year-olds who make me laugh every day. I love seeing little brothers and sisters in the car at drop off because one day they will be our students! Every day is made of of many small moments. I lead because I hope that every child piles up enough small moments during their time at our school that they will never forget us.
I lead because each day we are given a dandelion. Just blow, and our dreams might come true.