Wednesday, September 01, 2010

On the Principal's Job

After getting reconnected with my relatives and friends since I started Facebook last January, I found my first cousin (Kuya Lito) on FB last night, my oldest cousin on my father's side, who said that the last time he saw me was when I was a freshman in highschool, LOL. During our childhood, my cousins and I used to frequent our private beach resort back home (Sera Sol, Philippines), building sand castles, swimming, exploring the coral reefs during low tide and resting under the coconut trees on a hammock. Unfortunately, we went our separate ways and lost communication with each other after we graduated from HS, college is indeed life changing. Now after having found each other on FB we are planning on a grand reunion soon, yay!!! I guess it's true what they say, home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to. This one photo our beach resort that I tagged my brothers, sisters and paternal cousins triggered a never ending thread of comments, we so missed each other. Kuya Lito is now a school principal, and I will have my share of stories too as a school administrator (that was before I left home) when we see each other. I know that a principal who serves as an instructional leader is of immense value to any school.

I have been here in DC Public Schools, in the same school, for six years now and have had five principals. The turn over of administrators is just unbelievable!! If it is best for students and teachers, I cannot say that, we need stability. Over the years I have seen that the role of the principal and the nature of school leadership are being redefined as increasing numbers of schools turn to total quality schools, teaming, restructuring, peer coaching, and other paradigm shifts. But I believe that a non-threatening, high achieving school climate is key to a successful school. While some principals are more talented leaders than others, the quality of the teacher-principal relationship greatly influences the overall school climate, which in turn affects the students' success in the classroom.

We have just started the advent of school year, and yet anyone can sense that there is something different in my school...and it's good. I have seen that the less friction and stress between the principal and teachers, the more enjoyable we all find our jobs. We need each other to succeed, and when the principal and teachers can work in harmony students are ultimately the winners. No one gains and ultimately students lose when a poisonous, adversarial relationship exists between principal and teachers.

In my school things are looking good, we are looking forward to a great school year as we welcome our enthusiastic Instructional Coach, Ms. Alethea Felton (she has more positive energy than I do!) and a wonderful Instructional Leader who will help us bring back the pride at Jefferson, Principal Patricia Pride...could her name be a sign that she is the one who is going to give us what this school needs?.

I am a very hopeful person and I am keeping the faith.

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