Tuesday, May 19, 2009
What’s it like to be a…..Christian high school principal?
If you have had this position for a while, how have things changed?What does my normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year?
When school is in session, late August to early June, I am in the office well before 6:00 a.m., at school or school-related meetings during the day, at home for supper between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., and then back at school for the evening until 9:30 -ish p.m.
When school is in session, early morning time until about 7:15 a.m. is a wonderful and necessary planning time. It is during this time I do short-term and long-term planning and take care of lots of correspondence. Teachers and students begin filling the hallways around 7:15 a.m., and from that time until 4:00 p.m. I am “on” for running the high school.
Being “on” means being available to students and teachers throughout the school day using a “managing by walking around” style. This walking around involves answering and responding to a myriad of situations, questions, phone calls, and e-mails, and being available to students, parents, alumni and teachers who stop in throughout school day. It also means being a presence and observing the daily flow and interaction of a dynamic Christian community. Education is touching and influencing lives and this can only be done by “being there.”
I am home to have supper with my wife from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., and then I’m back again for the evening, which includes parent meetings, board meetings, and supervision of student and athletic activities. Over time supervision of activities becomes more like “I really want to be there to support and encourage students and coaches and parents- it’s our ministry, I don’t want to miss out.”
During the summertime, I maintain school office hours from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., except for those times when I’m on vacation. I am allocated five weeks of vacation out of 52 weeks each year. Summer is filled with planning and preparation for the new year.