September always brings a feeling of excitement and eager anticipation of what the new school year will hold. As a teacher and parent, I’ve become used to helping children navigate the unknown path of a new school year. This fall, however, I found the tables to be completely turned. This year, it was my turn to experience not only a new school, new teachers and new challenges, but also a new role as Principal. Here are some words of advice as I reflect on my first month as a Principal:
1. Rely on experienced Principals. There are a ton of new procedures and tasks to be completed. Rather than feeling lost and overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who have experienced it all before.
2. Be thoughtful in your decision-making. As a first year Principal, and being new to a school, it’s important to honour the work and decisions of colleagues from previous years. Change can be good, but it must be purposeful and should be based upon sound input from your community.
3. Take one day at a time. At times this role can make you feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose. Prioritizing your “to do” list and maintaining a work-life balance is critical for your physical and mental health.
4. Remember why you became an educator. Make the time to leave your office and be with kids! Visit classrooms, asks students about the tasks they’re working on and understand the great teaching and learning that is taking place in your school!