At present, I'm out of work. Long story, and we don't have time for it here. I've been thinking, a lot, about the things I miss about working in schools, and sort of "if I had it to do again" approach. I believe I will get another shot - I'm very good at what I do, and I believe in second chances.
- Kindness - being a school leaders is more stressful than you think. I've been in and out of the mix enough to know the difference between job stress and principal stress. Be kind to yourself. Deliberately schedule time out. Eat the foods that heal your soul and your body. Breathe.
- Breakthrough - on the advice of someone I admire, I attended The Breakthrough Coaching lead by Malachi Pancoast. Changed my whole way of looking at resource management, secretaries, and clarified my role as a principal. Do yourself, and your colleagues a solid favor, go. Establish a life & a career.
- Situational Awareness - be advised, there's a number of different ways to run a school AND a district. Are you planning on staying a while? If yes, then research the way it's done around here. If no, then still research the way it's done around here. This is your current employer and you inked a deal with them. Give them all that you have. Be present. For now, this is your home and everyone else is your competition.
- Marketing - like it or not, you're responsible for your school's internal and external brand. The culture, traditions, flow, energy of your school is the internal brand. How your stakeholders view your school is the external brand. Perception is reality and you will have to work hard to maintain or build excellence in branding.
- Asking for help - the rugged individualistic principal is a dinosaur...extinct. Join your local association. Build a cadre of colleagues that are like-minded but also willing to call a spade a spade. Invite someone to mentor you and meet them for breakfast, on your dime, once a month to check in and learn. Engage your family and friends, pray, meditate, consult and research. You can't do this alone.
5.5. Happiness - is an obligation. It requires gratitude, perseverance, and therapy/medication.
So there's a reflective bit of advice that will help you build sustainable habits in your role as a school leader. Take my advice, it's worth way more than you paid for it.