The first two days. This year mine will be spent with a new staff, at a school new to me, doing my best to make a good first impression. I’ll be striving to let people know who I am, and beginning to start beginning to start beginning to get to know the professional community I have the privilege of working with as their new principal.
…and a little nervous.
My first two days with teachers come at the end of August, when we’ll gather to talk about WHY, WHAT, and HOW we work together to best help our students prepare for a changing world. They are important questions with uncertain answers, and while I love the fact that I get to spend my first two days working on them with teachers, I’m mindful that for some of the folks, I’m simply a new face, as unfamiliar as a man walking into an elevator.
So while we’re talking about teaching and learning, I’ll do my best to help my teachers know who I am, a fellow traveler on this adventure of education. I’ll listen and learn who they are, some known to me from great reputation, some already friends, and some as new to SDA as I will be.
Most importantly, I look forward to using the first two days to find out who we are. Establishing a cohesive and caring professional community is one of the most important first steps in helping students learn and a school meet its potential for making a difference.
Students arrive the next week, and I’m already thinking about the ways I’ll connect with them in the first two days of classes. I know those connections will take tim and will be built over months of lunches, plays, concerts, games, and being in classrooms. I know I’ll do my best to teach a bit, even in the busy world of high school administration, and that I want my students to see me as an ally. Put simply, I want to be the principal I’d want my own kids to have.
The first two days are just that: two days. I’d be silly to say that they’ll define my year, but I am committed to using them as best I can to articulate a tone of openness, caring, and possibility.