Everyday we ask students to walk into our classrooms and have the internal drive to become lifelong learners. During our first professional development day of the new year, I asked my staff if that statement was true. As you can imagine, they all said that is what they expected from their students. The reason I asked the staff the question is because I knew for some, I was about ready to “rock their world”.
Our first objective of the day was to create a Twitter account so the staff could start connecting and collaborating with professionals outside their four walls. I have to admit, the reaction by many was positive and professional, however I did see a a few who rolled their eyes at the thought. As I was already prepared for the nay sayers, I reminded the staff that we as professionals must always be lifelong learners. With encouragement from some influential peers, all staff left the session with their own Twitter account.
As I reflected on the day from one high school principal’s chair, I knew I had to ask teacher leaders to lead horizontally to their peers. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” (Maxwell)
Leadership Lesson: A leader must not be afraid to ask for assistance from all levels of the organization to reach the vision.
When you think of the first week of any high school, you probably picture freshmen roaming the campus like lost sheep, and seniors already counting down the days until graduation. Well that’s how our year started off until Wednesday, August 12 the third day of school. That afternoon, a local police officer sat in my office to inform me that one of our students had passed away earlier that morning. As you pause and reread that last sentence, you can imagine my reaction. As I sat in my chair and processed the situation, I immediately gathered my leadership team to go over our plan to inform the student body and their parents. The student was a NJROTC officer in our school unit, so we met with the Sr. Chief along with the Cadet Leadership. When I told them the information, all were in shock as you can imagine. After a few minutes had passed, I informed them that we were going to gather the unit in the library and after a few words from me, I would expect the Cadet Leadership to rally their unit and grieve as a unit. I am continually impressed with the youth in our community. On Saturday, August 15, over 500 students gathered at the student’s Celebration of Life.
Leadership Lesson: A leader must TRUST their team in crisis situations.
Welcome to my blog. I have had the privilege of being a school principal for the past 14 years. My experiences consists of 8 years at Peralta Trail Elementary, 2 years at Cactus Canyon Jr. High, and finally, I am entering year 4 at Apache Junction High School. Unless you have sat in the high school principal’s chair, you truly do not know the excitement, the stress, and of course, the many rewards of the position. I hope you will take the time to look at my other social media sites.
Linkedin: Larry LaPrise