Friday, May 1, 2015

School Principal's Day - I know

This is my first #edsketch2015 for May - seemed fitting at the time
no awards for drawing heading my way anytime soon!
Today, May 1st, is School Principal's day.

I have been doing this job for over a decade, and if it wasn't for the presenter on the news this morning rattling off a list of what day it was today (apparently it is Batman Day and No Pants Day as well), I would not have known there was a day set aside just for us.  It may seem silly, but for a brief moment I felt the initial twinges of appreciation.  Someone (or a group of someone's), somewhere, at some stage, felt the desire to recognise and appreciate the work we do.

It got me to wondering.

I thought of all my colleagues and how hard they work.  Of how much of their time and their lives they give to education and to their communities and I thought about School Principals day.  Then I thought about what I want to say to all the hard working, committed and dedicated school leader's out there.

It is really quite simple.

I want to say thank you.  I want to say thank you because I know.

I know you don't often get to hear it from people.  I know that somedays you want to shut the door to your office and hide, and I know that somedays you wake up in the morning and it takes an extraordinary effort to get out of bed and face the firing line.

I know that you have high expectations for the children in your school and that you want the very best for them, because you know that their success is our worlds' success.

I know that in your heart you want your staff to come to school and enjoy their job, to grow as professionals and to be exceptional at what they do.  I know you worry for them and that you know them as if they were your 'class'.

I know that you carry the secrets of your community on your wide shoulders, and I know that some of these secrets are heartbreaking, some of them are disturbing and some of them leave your own soul hurting.  I know that sometimes you feel the weight of the world sitting on your shoulders.  I know that despite this weight, you are resilient enough to carry the load and that hard as it is, you carry that load because you care and you want to make a difference.

I know that you are human, and that sometimes you drive home wondering, second guessing and that you are your own worst critic.   I know that sometimes the tears that prick your eyes are genuine - sometimes they are from frustration, and sometimes they are the byproduct of caring.  I know that somedays you look at the people from your community who are using you as their personal battering ram and that you take it because you know there is something bigger than just you that is behind their tirade.  I know there is a side of you that no one else sees, because you are human.

I know that when a child gives you a hug you are reminded of why you are there.  I know that after you have seen the children in your school do something amazing, that you are as proud of them as if they were your own children.  For the record, I know that the 'something amazing' ranges from a student growing in confidence to winning a sports game.   Sometimes it is a small as a simple smile.

I know that being a principal is variable and unpredictable.  I know that when it is a a '2 out of 10' kind of day that it is dark, depressing and very difficult, but that when you have a day that is higher than an '8 out of 10' then nothing compares to how amazing it is and it makes it all worthwhile.

I know that on any one day you can be anyone from a counsellor, listener, problem solver, coach, mediator, business person, visionary, knee scraper cleaner upper, co constructor, collaborator, persuader, and general all purpose person.  You name it, you can do it.

I know that you have courage, passion, dedication and great commitment.  I know you are amazing.  I know you are not always understood or appreciated and I know that you do much that no one ever sees.

I know you are a leader and I know.

It is because I know that I say thank you.  I also know that you know I have left much unsaid.  But we know, and that is ok.

So it is fitting that today, on School Principal's day - on behalf of the communities you work in, I say thank you.

If you want to read more on the background of School Principal's day you can find out more about it here. 

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