At the Board meeting last night, I had the honor, along with my colleagues, to participate in a presentation about the role of the principal in our schools. It occurred to me that the Lincoln families might also wonder, “What exactly does he do all day?” Well, I certainly don’t want to bore you with a play-by-play report of a typical day – and anyway, the truth is there really is no typical day in a middle school, and furthermore, it is NEVER boring! But space is limited, so here are three overarching responsibilities of the principal:
Like any business, Lincoln Middle School is an organization that requires day-to-day management. Schedules, personnel, budgets, buildings and grounds, transportation, and LOTS and LOTS of paperwork are components of the role of the principal. These are necessary parts of the job, but certainly not the area that inspires me to get out of bed each morning. More important is the role the principal plays as the instructional leader of a school. Recruiting, hiring and evaluating staff; supporting professional development; guiding the implementation of initiatives and enhancing curriculum and instruction are all integral components of the daily work of the principal. My favorite part of the job, however, and the one I feel most honored to hold, is the role as support and resource for the students and families of the school community. Each interaction with a student, phone call or email exchange with a parent, or meeting that I hold, puts me in direct relationship with many wonderful people. Whether in the most positive of circumstances or in the most difficult of moments, I am honored to be a part of your life experiences.
Of course, the principal does not work in isolation. It is because of the partnerships with parents, collaboration with faculty and staff, and the support of colleagues that we are able to lead the school over the course of each year. Many people tell me: “I don’t know how you do it!” I tell myself, “How lucky I am to have the chance to do it.”