As I was entering administration, I was seeking out advice from other administrators on what to expect and I would also ask them when they felt they had a handle on the job. Answers varied but I knew going in that my first year of administration would be one of learning and growth. One of the best pieces of advice I received was to make sure and ask questions; you don’t know what you don’t know (thanks Joni). Sometimes decisions have to be made in an instant but when you have the chance as a new administrator, ask questions and learn. I had a great support system this year: my mentor and principal James Aleshire, other great administrators and leaders in our county (Mike Chilcutt, Tim Eskridge, Gary Willow, and Mike McManus to name a few), and staff at our school. I asked numerous questions of our secretaries, counselors, Lead Teacher, and staff. I believe that those who lead alone lead poorly and I counted on all of these individuals to help me grow and learn as an administrator this year. I am a full believer in a growth mindset and I am thankful for all of the help I received this year as I feel I will be an even better administrator/leader next year.
My piece of advice for new or aspiring administrators: ask questions and be willing to learn. Administrator is a great title but a title alone does not make you an expert in your field. Push your pride aside some days and ask questions; this is how you will grow. It’s ok to lean on the expertise of others and learn from them. This does not make you a poor leader but will help you grow into a better leader. Administrators are leaders of the team but never forget you are still part of the team and that the team is rowing in the same direction. Work with all staff members and be a servant leader- set staff members up for success; their success is your success which means overall success for the school and for you students which is what is most important. I look forward to the next couple of weeks (summer school, getting work done for next year and meeting with my Principal Darrell Marriott) but we want teachers to reflect and I feel all administrators should as well.