In response to the post, “Advice for the First Year Principal,” a reader writes:
“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was a first year principal last school year, and you have just affirmed all I found out…the hard way! By the way, I have 2 dogs!
Great things! Keep it coming!”
I was talking to an LYS principal the other day and she said, “Before the blog, I used to think I was the only crazy one. No one wants to change and everyone wants to blame our failures on the things we can’t control. I may still be crazy, but at least now I know that I’m not alone.”
Running a high stakes, people-centric operation is complex, stressful and non-linear work. The learning curve of the principalship is the steepest that any educator faces in her career. One of the reasons why it is so steep is that you have to quickly let go of all your preconceived notions of how easy it must be to lead people. After all, just tell your people what you expect them to do, treat them fair and get out of their way. How hard can that be? Harder than you can ever know until you actually live through it. There is nothing like the principalship. It always remains a daily learning experience. It teaches the novice how to survive in a hostile setting; it teaches the technician how to wield raw power; and it teaches the artist how to leverage influence. So wrap yourself in the experience and the position and remember the following four rules:
The Brezina Rule: If it’s not right for students, it’s wrong.
The Brown Rule: The principal is the only one in the system who is a pure advocate for students.
The Richardson Rule: You can be frequently wrong, but never in doubt.
The Cain Rule: When all else fails, just outwork them.
Think. Work. Achieve.