5 Things Your Principal Wants You To Know About LIFE Skills
Principals have a million things going on, especially at the secondary level. Do you ever wonder what is going on inside the mind of upper administration? Here’s what your principal wants you to know!
Your Principal Is Worried About Lawsuits
One year I started working with a new principal. As the lead of the department, I sat down to give a little rundown on the state of affairs. After a long conversation, we talked about historical events in our prior school districts. The chief concern- let’s not get sued. We both knew the team most likely to generate due process action, spark an investigation, or trigger any type of litigation would be LIFE Skills.
The state of Texas has passed legislation that will introduce cameras in most LIFE Skills classrooms starting the 2016-2017 school year. Although there is still a lot that needs to be sorted out prior to full implementation, one thing can be sure. With the increased ease of monitoring what is happening in classes will come and increased involvement of campus principals. Surely the cameras will do little to lessen your principals worries.
Want to be proactive? Start now behaving like you would with classroom cameras (with full audio and video). Behave like someone is always watching (soon that will be true) and talk to your principal about any concerns or issues now.
Your Test Scores Count, and That Matters
Testing season is upon us- the Texas STAAR is in full swing… and a long list of spring assessments could easily overwhelm anyone. The impact of rising, falling, or stagnant test scores hit principals hard. Any LIFE Skills test scores count towards the overall campus AYP, ratings and rankings.
Any your graduation numbers count too- whenever a student fails to meet all their graduation requirements (required courses for foundational credits) within 5 years, they count against graduation numbers.
What all this means is that you matter. Your student’s academic performance matters. And it matters in a big way. Keep that in mind as you prepare lessons, plan your STAAR tutorials, and plan for student’s schedules… because it all matters to your principal.
Your Principal Doesn’t Know What You Do All Day
Managing a school is like being the mayor of a city- and there is a lot happening. Most principals cannot afford the luxury of spending an entire day in a LIFE Skills classroom to see you in all your glory (no matter how much they would like to). Most principals will make it into LIFE Skills classrooms a couple of times a year for less than a full class period, but that is not a clear picture of all the things happening in your world.
It’s always good to shoot your principal some highlights and let them know what’s up in LIFE Skills. It is also a good idea to keep your students involved in campus life so that you and your students are seen and included. Most principals will tell you that LIFE Skills has some of the best things happening on campus, so keep them in the loop of all your superness!
Your Principal Respects the Hell Outta Ya!
They may not be in your classroom all the time. They may not know what you do all day. And they may be worried about lawsuits… but they respect you and what you do all day. They know how hard it is being in LIFE Skills with the level of students, personal needs, curriculum, and general management- you’re a superstar in their eyes. Even if they don’t tell you as often as you’d like, they respect what you do and are glad you are on the team.
Your Principal Doesn’t Know How to Support You More
Everyone is different. Some people like public recognition, others private words of encouragement, and some will do anything for a jeans pass. It all depends. So remember to keep in mind that your principal is not clairvoyant. They want to support you and give you recognition and praise but are not sure how.
Also remember that you have needs too. Don’t be afraid to ask for the things that will make you most successful. Every principal can find volunteers, funds, or and extra ream of paper if needed, BUT, don’t forget that does not make them a never ending well of gifts either. Be picky about what issues, demands, and favors you ask so that when you do voice a concern or need it is acknowledged as truly important.
5 Things Your Principal Wants You To Know
Although these 5 things may not be a surprise or impact your daily instruction, remember that they care about you, your students, and both of your success. You know a great leader when you have one, but all administrators worry about these 5 things when it comes to LIFE Skills.
By running a tight ship, sharing your success, and acknowledging your impact on the overall building performance can do a lot to support your principal and, hopefully, they will support you back!
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