My first month as an Assistant Principal went by in a whirlwind. So much so, that we are pushing month two as I wrap up this post. I have spent a great deal of my time visiting classrooms and finding the pulse of the building. I feel fortunate to work with passionate, dedicated educators. Our building thrives with a plethora of after-school activities and rich traditions. Our head principal (@principalmkelly) is dedicated to promoting student voice. During week one, he made my first mission to get our building makerspace up and running (I have been working closely with our librarian/media specialist, @mollymagro, to make this happen – more on that later). Simply, I feel very lucky.
The number one thing I have learned: “I have an idea,” takes on a whole new meaning.
My previous teaching partner (@jenharding55) and I loved the phrase “I have an idea.” When one of us made the statement, the other would just giggle. Generally, it meant things were about to get messy and a lot of learning was about to happen. We would dig into the how and why behind making the idea a reality. Questioning and challenging each other, and scouring resources. In my current building, I was chatting with one of our teachers and I got an idea. I excitedly shared the strategy, and even provided some relevant resources. I walked away with the buzz you get after having a really great professional discussion – ideas flowing. Then the realization hit me… I’m an administrator now. “I have an idea,” may sound a lot like “This is something you need to do.” As an instructional technology coach, I could pass ideas back and forth with teachers easily. Conversations were always free of evaluation, judgement, or requirement. Did I appropriately balance this conversation? Did the teacher understand this was just an idea? As it turns out, she did and was happy with the suggestion. However, this was an eye opening experience. I am passionate about instructional coaching and wish to maintain that role, but I must proceed with caution. We learn the most from two sided conversations. Teachers must see value, not directive, in our dialogue.