Who’s the Boss

I remember talking to my longtime Division Head, Bob McGrath, about the nature of administrative leadership long before I even thought about moving from teaching and coaching into administration.   I learned so much from him in those conversations,  and more from watching how he led. 

One thing he told me that has stuck with me, and quite frankly has become the focus of my approach with teachers is that my role is to work as hard as I can for teachers, so that they can be their best for our students.  

Last year, a new teacher introduced me to her boyfriend as her boss “I work for him”, she said.   At that moment, my response was genuinely “no, I work for you”.

I love and embrace this part of my role. It is exactly like when I felt like I worked for my students.  Each day, I endeavor to support my teachers in their pursuit of the best experiences possible for our students. 

Ironically, I have found that the better we as an admin team do our jobs, the less it looks like we are doing anything.  It is our collective, daily aspiration to maintain a nurturing climate of positive, growth-minded, student-centered-ness. When that happens seamlessly, it seems almost serendipitous.  At those moments, I sit back and enjoy the climate.  

So yesterday I got an email from a Kindergarten teacher asking me about Evernote. I was so excited to share that I am not experienced,  but look forward to learning together with her and supporting her in her process to create something great for her students. 

When I got into the building, another  teacher asked “did you mean it when you said to ask for any help- we need you to help move some bookshelves”.  I was genuinely excited to drop what I was doing to help them get ready for the kids.  

At the end of the day, I work for the teachers so that they can do their great work with the students.   When we do this in conjunction with actively working with parents, the full 360○ support of the student and teacher experience manifests tremendous spirit, community, learning,  and growth. 


One thought on “Who’s the Boss

  1. Your blog caused me to remember principals of my childhood more than principals in my career. As a student in elementary & high school, I remember the principals helping teachers, teaming with teachers in school-wide efforts–even teaching class, relieving teachers on an as need basis.
    As a teacher, I have had some good principals, encouraging and supportive, but never active in really helping in or with the classroom. As a consultant, I sometimes lead teaching in a classroom, demonstrating for teachers how to achieve an instructional method new to them. I have often suggested and even asked principals to take another teacher’s class so that teacher, too, could take part in watching the demonstration. Only once. a principal followed through and actually taken the class.
    Though I respect principals and personally like many of them, I feel a stronger sense of admiration for those like you who are more than encouragers, for those who take the term “team-work” literally. I’ll bet you teachers feel a similar sense of admiration & appreciation.

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