Two weeks in as an assistant principal of a high school with close to 1300 students, I am coming up for air. After close to a decade away, I am back in the world of students with unbridled energy, creativity, and passion.
Now the trick is to get them to apply some of that towards their classes.
I have spent the first two weeks learning the ropes. A lot of “law and order” type chores . . . girl drama, mad mamas, f-bombers . . . a slew of sporting events . . . the five-minute lunch break . . . and good intentions for instructional leadership.
Add to that the time spent getting students in and out and in again of North Carolina Virtual Public School, and to say the least, the jumpstart has been frenetic and invigorating.
This coming week, I will start teacher observations. Being techno-savvy, I’m sure I will proceed as in this video— Walkthroughs and Learning Objectives.
I anticipate working with the English department to help crystalize a focus on writing. The test scores say we—and the rest of the state—need improvement there. And the school faculty is in the early stages of building Professional Learning Communities to attack such problems. So, here is where the real excitement lies.
My move from a Central Services position (Director of Many Things) to a school-based position is a long-term commitment. One of the drivers is the interplay between theory and application. I fully enjoyed and benefited from the research, reflection, and writing associated with centralized leadership. Over the last three years, my blog has flourished with evidence of that growth experience.
Now, I have the growth opportunity to add my capital in a real school setting. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen.
As I calculated the risk on this career move, I determined that my affect for reshaping high schools would be greater felt were I embedded in an actual context then were I to continue pontificating from on high as so many of us in the educational blogosphere are wont to do.