This post is the first blog focus for members of #savmp or School Administrator Virtual Mentor Program. I am so excited to learn and grow as a leader through this mentor program.
Why do I lead?
I wish I had some moving and inspirational story or answer to this question. I’m afraid I do not. You see, when I was a teacher, I did not aspire to become a principal. I did not THINK I could be a leader. I had watched my administrators for many years (including my husband who was my principal the last year I taught), and was sure that THAT job was not for me.
Boy, was I ever wrong. Being a principal is the perfect job for me, and if it weren’t for those closest to me who saw a leader within me when I did not, I may not have taken that step from classroom teacher to principal 8 years ago.
Fast-forward to today, and I can’t fathom NOT leading. When I reflect on my position and leadership, there are two main reasons I “do” this principal role.
I lead to be a game-changer for kids. My mantra is “It starts with me.” Through times of challenge or change, I lead because I know that even the smallest or seamingly minor actions can reap immense results, and also go a long way to showing others I care. I can brighten a child’s day with a simple smile or create a welcoming environment with a high-five or hug. When it’s time to roll up our sleeves: It starts with me. When a child needs love or attention: It starts with me. When communicating to parents: It starts with me. When kindness and smiles improve others’ day: It starts with me. In the face of adversity when things aren’t easy, and positivity, determination and passion are necessary: It starts with me. When being in classrooms and observing teachers to improves students’ learning opportunities: It starts with me. When being active throughout the school and building relationships with students shows them they matter: It starts with me.
I lead because I love kids, and I love helping teachers grow and be awesome for kids. When I left the classroom for the principalship, I began to view teachers in the same way I viewed my students, to some extent. Just as I would with my students, I model instructional, classroom management, and grouping strategies at meetings. I model use of tech, programs, websites and apps. On the other hand, I KNOW I’m not the expert at every subject area, I believe I can learn something new every day, and therefore, like to encourage teachers to share their knowledge and experience so we can all learn collectively. I really feel like the more I can support, assist, and dive in WITH my teachers, the more my love for kids shines through.
You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannon do. Together we can do great things. -Mother Teresa