I was tagged a while back by Kelly Christopherson and and I am just now getting to it. Testing, master scheduling and discipline seemed to get in the way. Anyhow here goes on the 7 secrets to my success:
1. Be a sponge: I try to soak in everything I can. When I first got into administration I asked questions of my principal constantly, even before he had finished his sentence. It drove him nuts but I sure learned alot. I still do it today, but not as much. Since I know that someday I am going to be a principal I know that I need to learn everything I can. Soaking it all up is the way that I learn best. My hope is that I will be able to empty it out at my next stop.
2. Be Respectful: My goal at work is to be as even keeled as possible. Much harder than it seems by the way. The reason for this is it is much easier to be respectful of others when you aren’t at one end of the emotianal spectrum. When talking to teachers, students and parents I attempt to never raise my voice or get overly emotianal. This allows me to stay focused and more importantly to come across as being very respectful (even though I may be seething on the inside).
3. Listen, Listen, Listen: I love to talk, to hear myself talk, and to talk about myself. One of the hardest skill sets that I had to learn when I became an administrator was listening. And not always listening about educational issues either. I have listened to just about everything from the dog whisperer to the steel rod in someones spine. In fact most of my listening is small talk. Teachers seem to love to converse about everything but education. Although I will occasionally get to listen about issues in the classroom. Listening is one of the biggest keys to being a successful administrator.
4. Remembering: If you can put this together with listening you have got a sure fire winner. It is one thing to listen another to remember. I attempt to do my best at remembering by doing two things: 1. Writing it down on my legal yellow note pad or 2. Writing it in Outlook or on my palm pilot (in date form) By remembering to do things I build upon secret #5
5. Trust: When I first started as the VP at my school, I don’t think there was a lot of trust there. No one knew me, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing and we were a new administration. Over time I slowly gained the trust of the staff. Finishing tasks, following up on discipline, working on computers and understanding the master schedule. These are just a few of the things that helped my build the trust of my staff. Without trust and the feeling that you are working for them and not against them you won’t be able to go anywhere, at all.
6. 7-1: In my masters program I remember a school psychologist that stated, “7 positive comments to 1 negative comment, is the easiest way to reduce discipline problems.” Now I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do like the idea. I have a sign above my door that reads “7-1″. I see it every time I go out and every time I sit at my desk. You would be surprised at how easy it is to say something positive to a student. Nice jacket, how are you doing, did you have a good weekend, I liked your project, etc. The kids love it and it goes back to number 2 about being respectful.
7. Love to Laugh: Without humor you got nothing.
Well there they are, my 7 secrets. I don’t know if they are secre.ts, but they definitley have helped my move along in my administrative career