I had a conversation with my Director of School Support, Doris Williams, earlier this week. Doris is a educator/administrator with some great experience and insight to share from her career. She is one of four individuals who has really helped my transition to Cumberland County Schools. We have regular talks about process and plans for my school, staff, students and community. Among the many topics we talked about this week, Doris gave me a great piece to reflect on. It has stuck with me for several days, giving me need to work it out of my system through my blog.
Doris shared a conversation she had with a past supervisor of hers. To help her really grasp the responsibility and scope of the job of the principal, he instructed her to walk through her school building either before school or after school while it was empty. His goal was to get her to see and feel the building, the grounds, the resources – everything in the building that helped support the school. Its part of our process to make the lives in our school part of our lives. Getting to know, care for, understand and help the people is what we are all about in education. This exercise is to create a different experience. As school leaders, we should know what we are responsible for – from document cameras in the classroom to the slightly bent lockers to the maintenance of the sports fields.
When I did this, I walked away with a couple of ‘enormity realizations’:
- Student and teacher growth depends on my know and utilizing every resource, room and inch of my building to the fullest
- My community members who have attended my school invest pride in a different way now
Walking the building with this in mind, won’t change your perspective 180 degrees but it will definitely give you a new appreciation or help with a realization you haven’t had before.
I‘d encourage every school leader to do this and share your experience and realization below. Or if you have had a different event that’s inspired your own enormity realization, please share it below.