The Principal's Principles

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

Where are you?

As leaders, it is vital that we are crystal clear with ourselves and those in our organization who we are and what we are about. Your core values shape how you make decisions and how you set your priorities. Articulating your clear answer to the question “who are you,” is a critical first step in any leadership journey.

Just as important is your ability to talk about your vision. Setting clear goals and making them known to every stakeholder in your organization is often the difference between success and failure for a leader. If you cannot answer the question “where are you (or where are we) going?” you will struggle to get support.

An often overlooked question is “where do you spend your time?” Our actions communicate more than our words, and must compliment the statements leaders make about their values and vision. As leaders, we have to reflect on the “where.”

If our core product is instruction, and your role is to guarantee quality, you have to be in classrooms where teaching and learning take place.

If you are about building relationships, be present in hallways and the school cafeteria, showing an interest in staff and students. This may mean leaving your phone behind and taking time away from email.

If you are driven to build a culture where every staff member matters, you have to make time to be throughout your building, and need to be intentional of not having a “typical” pattern when you move around.

Chances are, you are very aware of who you are and where you want to go. This week, take some time to focus on “the third leg of the leadership table,” where you spend your time. Your presence should match your priorities.

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One thought on “Where are you?

  1. Kaitlyn Wyman on said:

    Hello Mr. Bernia! I am Kaitlyn Wyman of Mobile, Alabama, and I am in a class called EDM310 that allows me to evaluate other teachers’ and administrators’ blogs from around the world. This week I picked you to be my principal that I look at and comment on! I just want to point out first that I enjoyed reading your blog, and that you are completely right about everything you mentioned! Your set values that you have completely rules over your decisions you make in school, and in other aspects of life as well. Also making certain priorities the most important thing you do requires acting and presenting the part. Thank you so much for sharing!

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