Rookie Principal Tyler AmidonDisclaimer: I make no claim to know it all, obviously.
Practical and Personal• Outline • Brief History • Introduction • Personal Professional Growth • In my building • Personal • Q & A - if we have time
Brief History...• Been in education for 20 years so I felt ready.• Our Principal resigns in May to be with her little ones at home.• My staff “throws me under the bus”• Gig is conﬁrmed in July... game on!• Interim “tag” removed in January• Today
My Perspective• My view is unique to my experience, all may not be relevant to you. I apologize in advance. • Each school/district has their own challenges. You’ll hear some of mine tonight. • My school is in a super intense and demanding community.• I am going to spend a little bit a time at 50,000 feet and a little bit of time at 5 feet
Shockers• So much out of my control• Pulled in 1,000 different directions• I thought I was ﬂexible, but I had to learn how to be super duper ﬂexible with my time... sometimes.• Emotional ups and downs are brutal
Seek Mentors• Develop a network of administrators. • Administrator from your district • Similar to your school’s culture • Various experience levels • Not necessarily local people
P.L.N. (Personal Learning Network)• Develop a network of professional leaders. • Twitter • Start by following the hashtag #cpchat • Read... Read... Read... • Short articles or blogs • Leadership books • Leadership Conferences • Ask questions
Culture• Ultimately responsible for the school’s culture - daunting but awesome • So tough - changing a school’s culture is like pulling a U-turn with the Titanic • Be patient - may take 3 - 5 years to reset the school culture the way you want. • Access your students’ knowledge. • I started with those that supported me and built from there.
Listen• Listen ﬁrst and offer advice second (or later). • I often jump into “ﬁx it” mode and I am realizing this isn’t always best.• Listening ﬁrst can validate the opinions of all the “players in the game.”• Earns respect in the short term, allows for inﬂuence/growth in the long term.
Relationships• With students and staff • Be kind in your relationships • Be caring in your relationships • Be respectful in your relationships • When necessary admit when you’re wrong • Stand ﬁrm when necessary
Be Visible - Be Connected• Intentionally Schedule “kid time” • Put it in your calendar • Be seen in the classrooms • Be seen in the hallways • Be seen in the lunchroom • Be seen on the playground • Have a mobile ofﬁce
Thick Skin• All of a sudden there is a target on my back. • My “enemies” have multiplied• I used to “own” one room and that’s all I had to manage/worry about. • Now I “own” every square inch of my campus, more to worry about.
Budget• It’s your responsibility• Learn as much as you can as soon as you can• Study it and know it backwards and forwards• Challenge why things are the way they are. • Get your questions answered
Communication• Clear and concise!!• Too much, in my opinion, is better than too little.• Find tools that work well for your staff, students, families. • Might be different for each group. • This may require lots of trial and error • Possible tools: Newsletters, email, web site, twitter, blog, in person, etc. etc. • Pictures, pictures, pictures - Tell your story
Communication• Be available, but be smart about it. • It can feel sometimes like you’re a counselor to the whole community. • People think that just because you’re the leader that all of a sudden you have an added counseling degree. • Listen... listen... listen...
Lead Learner• Lifelong learner • Constantly trying to improve myself as a leader and educator. • Know your school inside and out. • Share resources with your staff on a regular basis • Keep up with best practices but you don’t have to be the resident expert in every ﬁeld. Allow your staff to be that expert as well.
Be yourself• You can only sustain your true self• Lead as you lead• Constant checks - ﬁnd an accountability partner to help you keep “on track.”
Balance• Keep balance in your life. • This job can consume you. • Spouse or signiﬁcant other needs to recognize this. • I’m terrible at this• Must practice being in the moment. • THIS IS my biggest challenge. • This takes focus, concentration and practice like you can’t imagine.
Personal Health• If I don’t serve myself, I can’t serve others• Physically • Exercise • I joined a basketball, ﬂag football, volleyball league and I’m an avid runner.• Emotionally • Mentors, friends, spouse, counselor, etc.• Socially • get out and be social - that’s how I recharge