The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

A Lesson From My Mentor: Focus on What is, not What you Wish was

One of my mentors is a central office administrator in a small school district. He has become an “education entrepreneur,” by building partnerships and reinventing his school district’s business model to keep their financial house in order. From my experiences talking with him, my biggest takeaway is:

When you look at the current state of affairs, focus on what is, not what you wish was.

My mentor accepted that in our current legislative environment, the only way to maintain the public school system he believes in is to compete. An example of a takeaway is a recent meeting when he talked about the benefits of a district partnership with a local university. He didn’t mention positive press coverage; he was pleased that the school had additional reading tutors from the university that would help learners in their system. His drive to compete is grounded in growing a public service.

Note: This post is one in a series about key leadership lessons I have learned from my mentors. As I took time over the holidays to reflect on my work, the key relationships I have built and those who have made time to help me in my leadership journey were central to so much of what I do as a principal. My goal in publishing these lessons is to share my own reflections, celebrate my mentors (who will remain anonymous), and to encourage readers to thank their own mentors, or find new people to help them in their own professional journey. By no means am I a finished product, to those who mentor me, I thank you and ask that you continue to help me grow.


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