There are SO many things to love about being a principal-- the kids, working with fabulous teachers and staff, the families, learning-- the list is endless and I think it's the best job in the world. I can't imagine doing anything else! But in my fifth year as a school leader I have found some unexpected things that are seriously my JAM.
Parking lots! Pickup? Drop Off? YES. I love this.
I love taking out the disco ball speaker for sure. Music makes everyone happy! Check out some of my former students dancing at drop off! But I also love hopping out to the crosswalk, stopping traffic, waving on cars, waving at families, saying hello, and goodbye, and please remember to use the crosswalk. I love helping kid and parents learn traffic rules and that they are especially important to follow inside our school lot --where our most important cargo is being delivered. I love saying good morning and have a great day!
And I really love it when a kindergartner with a rocking faux-hawk says as he crosses the parking lot, "I AM SO GLAD I AM IN THIS SCHOOL!" and pumps his fist with a smile. That happened today.
Lunch Duty! It is seriously the best.
Opening pizza Lunchables and impossible adult-proofed juice pouches are epic entertainment on the daily. As is talking to students, helping a crying student remember that even though his kindergarten teacher is at lunch that we will take good care of him. Watching fifth graders take responsibility for making sure lunch tables are clean and ready for the next grade level. Today a 4th grade teacher ate lunch with the kids and they were having a fry competition-- who had the biggest french fry? This is a thing! I never knew.
Check out this take by Gerry Brooks on Kindergarten lunch duty. It's all real. #truth
Feedback. And Hard Questions.
I never thought I would love this, or need this. I do. Sometimes we think conflict is scary, or that asking questions or expressing challenges could create problems with relationships. Is feedback sometimes hard to hear? Absolutely. But it's so important to say it anyways. Real conversations, saying out loud that "this is hard for me", or "I have a different idea" is what I-- and we need to hear as school leaders. My friend Eric Saibel has inspired and mentored me so much in this area-- and truly it's through the hard conversations and the real honest feedback that we grow and learn. I share this as an administrator new to a school where we are just getting to know each other--and as an invitation to both my staff and families and colleagues to be real with me. I need and want you to push my thinking, and know that through open and honest conversations we will learn together!
What challenges do you love?