As many of my readers may know, June 29th marked the completion of my first year as a Principal. To say that it was a journey or an adventure would be an understatement. There are many things that I learned about being a Principal that I would never have imagined are the responsibilities and the requirements to ensuring that a school is operational.
Needless to say the meanderings in relation to that are going to have to wait for another day and for another post. This post will focus on what I would assume is not only the question on every teachers mind at the end of the school year, but is definitely on the minds of most administrators.
DID I MAKE A DIFFERENCE – WAS I INFLUENTIAL?
I suppose that some may consider these two different questions, but in my opinion they are similar if not related. I believe that by influencing the students in my school and influencing the manner in which my teachers teach or assess is making a difference. Either way this is a question that I was pondering not only on the last day of school, but throughout the school year.
So how do you tell if you have made a difference? Some individuals gauge it by the words and affirmations that are said to them, to me this is great to hear but it is not what drives my passion. I am not the type of person that expects or does his job for compliments. Some people determine their effectiveness by the amount of gifts that they receive at the end of the year. This to me is materialistic – gifts are great but at the end of a career if they do not have a specific meaning then they become clutter.
This year, I questioned my influence and in addition wondered what was thought of my first year as a Principal. I was happily pleased by two acts that I would never have guessed and which make me happy every time I share the accoloade or mention the honor. The first is a gift – however it is made up of descriptors that were given by staff and students as to what was thought when they thought of me.
One of my staff then took all of the words and using Tagxedo created this wicked image. It is in the shape of RAM, I love it, I absolutely love it and it is not only an amazing picture, but it is made of how people view me. So if I ever need a motivator or reminder of why I do what I do, I just have to look at the picture.
The second gesture that reveals my influence this year, that I don’t think can ever be topped is that the Year Book team and the Students Union agreed and instead of the front of the year book stating that this year was the year of the “Dragon” they labelled it the year of the RAM. I can not explain or convey how these two acts not only made me feel as if I was on cloud nine, but how they motiviate me to strive to do better next year and to increase my influnce.