An old school LYSer and Superintendent shares the following.
I received an email today from a candidate for an assistant principal opening in my school district. I thought you would enjoy my response:
Dear Mr. Superintendent,
My name is (MASKED). I am currently teaching Spanish at (MASKED) High School. This is my third year at (MASKED) HS; however, I taught for nearly 16 years in (MASKED) ISD before. I am certified in Spanish and have my Principal certification. I have heard through word of mouth that there is an anticipated Assistant Principal position for the (MASKED) ISD. I wanted to contact you to let you know of my strong desire to be considered for the position should it come available. I was extremely excited to hear of the potential opening. I have heard nothing but great things about the tradition of excellence within the (MASKED) ISD, and would love nothing more than to have the opportunity to join the (MASKED) ISD family. I am certain that the pool of applicants will be extremely large considering the excellent reputation of the district. Because of this, I was wondering if there is anything I can begin to do in order to become more familiar with what you are looking for in a leadership position.
Thank you in advance for taking time out of your busy schedule to read my letter of interest for the anticipated position. Please feel free to contact me if you have any advice to offer or would simply like to know more about me. You are also welcome to contact any leader within the (MASKED) ISD for references.
Thank you for the email Mr. (MASKED). You asked for it, so here are my expectations, as superintendent, for the possible Elementary Assistant Principal position when it gets posted.
Obviously we will be looking for the basics: good leadership ability, good public speaking ability, professional appearance, excellent rating as a classroom teacher, etc.
At the elementary school, the next Assistant Principal will need to work with teachers to improve their art and skill in teaching younger children.
- Extensive knowledge in Pre K and Primary teaching strategies.
- Extensive knowledge of how to teach children how to read. Masters in Reading preferred.
- Knowledge in research-based “centers,” small group, and large group instruction.
- Knowledge in current reading software programs and assessment tools that rate reading ability.
- Experience in using age-appropriate technology
- Experience leading PLC process as it relates to improving instruction. Not a meeting facilitator.
Our district (MASKED) ISD also believes in The Fundamental 5 (Cain & Laird). The book, written by two Texas Principals addresses the five teacher behaviors (based on field research in Texas) that improve student achievement. As an Assistant Principal, you can’t just know The Fundamental 5, you have to walk the talk and lead by example to reinforce the adult behavior. If we know of research-based practices that are best for children and the adults in the building are not practicing them, then that is leadership failure, not a teacher problem.
When you are not in an official meeting or duty, and school is in session, the Assistant Principal will be in classrooms, not in his/her office. This means we take care of “administrivia” after student school hours. When we talk about the administrator being a disciplinarian, we mean self-discipline, you will need to work hard enough so that not only your staff is inspired, but the leaders up the chain take notice at your work ethic as well.
In addition to that, our elementary school holds an assembly every Friday with singing and dancing to get students fired up for the day, recognizes teachers and students, and reinforces our character education program. As an Assistant Principal, you will be front and center leading the singing and dancing part of the program.
So, our new Assistant Principal will need to be a disciplinarian, lead ARDs, be an instructional leader, music teacher, PE teacher, a social worker, have many outside of school duties, up to and including being an occasional bus driver.
All this, with more days worked, and not much more money. Pretty glamorous!
If you are still interested, please contact the principal.
SC Response It would be interesting to know how many people who read this mistakenly believe that you are over-selling your expectations. And then how many who think, “Who wouldn’t want this job!”
Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…
- Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5
- Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool)
- Upcoming Presentations: Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations); Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Conference (Multiple Presentations); LYS / TASSP Advanced Leadership Academy (Keynote)
- Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation and like Lead Your School on Facebook