Sunday, May 15, 2016

I was sitting in my office waiting for my supervisor to come, he had emailed me the night before that he would be by to see me first thing in the morning.  I had a nagging feeling that something was about to happen, but what came out of his mouth left me speechless.  The district was asking me to move mid-year to a high needs school in our district.  He went on to list why he felt I could do this and how this step will begin to move me in the direction of where I may want to be in the future.  The problem was, I didn't really know where I wanted to be in the future.

The truth is that I was at my school for 2 1/2 years and I was very comfortable.  It was a magnet school and with a magnet school came everything a principal wants: parental involvement and support, financial support from our families and community, very few student behavior issues and academic success.  Since this was my first principalship, I had become very comfortable in my role and was enjoying each and every minute.  Until that fateful day in December.

It has been just over four months since I started at my new school.  It has been a roller coaster of an experience from tears to anger to joy, often in the same day!  I do not even remember much of January and February and it is only now that I feel like I am starting to get my legs under me.  Moving schools is an emotional experience at any time.  You pour your heart and soul into what you are doing each day no matter what your role, but moving mid-year was more of a personal loss to me.  Everything I had planned for the remainder of the year was lost and would never be experienced.  I came to the realization that things that I had supervised and labored over I would never get to see come to fruition.  It took me about three months to get through the 5-stages of grief, and that was exactly what it was: grief.  A loss of something that I loved and was never going to enjoy again.

But now I am in the reflective stage.  Looking back at what we have accomplished over the last 4+ months and how we can continue to move the school in a positive direction, starting with retaining the staff and changing student behavior, has been current mode of thinking.

I believe that the biggest change since moving schools has been in myself.  I realize that I am more than a boss or instructional leader,  I am a coach.  I need to use the same principles used in team sports to support, nurture, train, and develop everyone on my campus.  I created this blog to journal the experience of going from a Magnet School Principal to Turn-Around Principal in hopes of being able to support all those coming after me that will walk this walk and need to know that the cycle is predictable and wonderful.

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