After this post, I promise nothing but Holly Jolly and Fa La La La La for the rest of the holiday season!!
FAIR WARNING...this is a preachy post...if you aren't in the mood, I completely understand. Just move along without reading...
I've made it to the halfway point of my first year as principal. On Thursday afternoon, I hosted a staff Christmas drop-in here at home. I am priviledged to lead an amazing group of kind and caring educators! Hank joined us for a bit and I think that he started to develop a better understanding of what I do and why it's difficult to leave work AT work. He constantly tries to "one up" me as to whose job is more stressful. Shoot, everybody's job is stressful these days but the difference between what he does and what I do is the emotion factor.
Hank deals with business people all day and while there are difficult business people (what say you, all you business people out there?), in a school system if you're an educator with a heart, that heart breaks several times a day because of the unbelievable burdens many students carry. We want to "fix" everything, but a lot of the hurt has been happening a long time and is too deep. We can try to make them better and help them learn to be more resilient but...
I had to deal with my first truly irrational parent on Thursday afternoon. Irrational in the sense that I wasn't entirely sure that I wouldn't have to call campus security for assistance. It didn't take half a minute before I realized exactly why the child is the way the child is. The child has tremendous academic potential but it may never be realized because I cannot FIX what goes on at home when I only have access to that child six hours a day for 180 days. (Although that doesn't mean I'll stop trying...) The parent was more calm by the end of the meeting and I don't imagine we will meet again, at least not on the same issue. The incident did; however, make me realize that I probably need to take my blood pressure medicine in the mornings, rather than at night.
For people out there who think that they know what a school principal does...unless you've BEEN one, you have absolutely positively no idea the magnitude of the responsibility that falls on our shoulders. There...I said it!!! Teachers don't know...central office people don't know...state department people don't know. Nobody knows unless they've walked in those shoes.
OK...if you made it this far, I appreciate your support. Your reward is that you don't have to read the just deleted four paragraphs of ranting and raving about know-it-alls and people who'd rather complain than go out and help make things better in the world. Writing and deleting can be cathartic in and of itself.
I'm better now...thanks for listening. A Holly Jolly post...coming your way SOON!