Thursday, June 23, 2011

Looking back

As the sun slowly sets on another school year for all of us, I find myself reflecting on my five years as Principal here at SKSS and twelve years in administration.  It seems as though the years have come and gone in a flash, and particularly in the last five years, I have learned so much about our school, our students, my staff, and myself as an administrator and a person.

When I started in administration, I certainly thought that I knew 'how things were supposed to be done'.  I thought that experience was something that could be overcome by hard work, attitude, research, and willingness.  I thought that somehow, being an administrator made me 'know more' than others (Ha!). I thought a lot of things....But now that I have a chance to sit and ponder the last twelve years, the students that I have met, the educators that I have worked with, the parents that I have gotten to know, and now my Personal Learning Network have all changed my perspectives on a number of fronts.  All except one.

Things I think about in terms of my job as a Principal
What I thought when I started…
What I think now…
Be out front, lead the charge, break down the doors, and hope everyone is following
Lead along side, and sometimes from behind--you can help everyone along the path. Don’t ask anyone to do what I would not do myself
I can solve it because I need to solve it
We can solve it because we want to solve it
I have the knowledge because I am supposed to be ‘the’ educational leader in the school
We have the knowledge because we are all educational leaders in our school
Differing Points of View
Unhealthy—clearly I had not done my job convincing them what is right—can’t be wishy washy
Essential—so much to be learned from others, and pretty neat to walk out going, “I never thought of that!”
Good ideas
Keep them close to my chest and make things better at our school
Share with others--they will make good ideas great, and we will make things better at all schools
Keep them quiet and mop them up, you don’t want people to thing you don’t know everything.
Admit to them quickly and learn from them, people already know you don’t know everything
Is achieved when ‘work time’ and ‘play time’ balance themselves out.
Is achieved when you don’t think really about ‘work time’ or ‘play time’, just good times.
Twitter/Social Media
Something that Lindsay Lohan used to tell us where she was shopping
The most important professional development tool in my toolkit.
Role of the school
To provide the best programs and opportunities for students to be successful
To be insatiably curious about our students and how they learn, and help them find their passion
What we need to get through so that kids can achieve
Individualized, flexible and engaging to inspire and motivate students to want to learn more.
Well-written assignments, quizzes and tests that we can use to tell us what kids remembered about what we told them to learn.
Something that students can use to teach us what they know.
Measure of my success
What I can achieve for my students and my school
The success of each student, our staff, our school and our community
Having what you like
Loving what you have
My dream job
Principal at South Kamloops Secondary
Principal at South Kamloops Secondary

I DO have my dream job.  I am very fortunate to work with a great team, tremendous staff, supportive parent community, and students so great I can't go on enough about them.  And what is most exciting is that each one of these groups has changed my perspectives, and will continue to change my perspectives in the coming years.

How have your perspectives changed?  Jot it down--it is a great way to reflect on this thing that we call 'education'.

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