I am honored to continue serving my district as the next principal of Alton Darby Elementary. The goal of this blog was to document my journey to the principalship because I wanted others who might have been interested in educational administration to see what the journey may be like if they decided to take it. Now that I have accepted a position as principal, I will shift my attention to the transition period that has already begun to take place. I am excited to start documenting these reflections through a blog series called “New Beginnings”.
Since I was announced as the next principal of Alton Darby, the question that seems to come up most is “What is the first thing you are going to do?”. I love that question for a few reasons. I think it’s funny that sometimes people will ask the question and they stop themselves short of saying “…with all that power?“. They see the principal as the decider who makes sweeping changes.
The truth is the “power” does not lie with me. The power lies with US — the students, parents, teachers, and community members that represent Alton Darby. My mission and my responsibility is to empower these representatives and to synthesize our voices into one vision for learning so that Alton Darby continues to be a reflection of the values, goals and dreams of its community.
The other reason I love this question is because it gives me a chance to talk about my vision for where we can go as a learning community. I believe that leaders need to be transparent in their beliefs. Being transparent helps to foster a culture of trust within the school community. So when someone asks me what I want to do as principal I tell them, “I want to discover the dreams, goals, and passions of the students, teachers, and parents of Alton Darby”. I feel that I can effectively lead when I have a deep understanding of what my learning community values and what we want to accomplish. I choose to share this message because I want everyone to know that I believe in building relationships and creating learning environments that are safe and welcoming to all.
So, what is the first thing I will do as principal?
Listen to teachers.
Listen to parents.
And listen to students. I can’t wait to start having conversations with students so that I can find out what they love about Alton Darby and what they feel we need to focus our attention on in order to help each student reach their goals and discover their passions.
I am thrilled to being my first steps as the next principal of Alton Darby Elementary, and I look forward to continue sharing what I am learning about educational administration.