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Does the Job of a Principal Ever End?

It’s 1 AM and I just finished going to our school to deal with some kids from town who were bothering the team that is staying at our school overnight. They traveled a long way in order to play a preseason football game with us. What should have been a non-event ended up with me being called by someone near the school to tell me there were a bunch of kids goofing around near the school.

Turns out, when I arrived, a huge group of them took off, some toting their cases of refreshments, sprinting into the night and away from the school. I figure some of them could have set new sprint records and should be trying out for the track team or something like that.

When does this job as a school administrator end? Why does being an administrator mean I get the call instead of the police being called? Right now, I’m wondering if this is all worth it. I know that, sometime in the future, in some way, I’ll be made out to be somehow the “bad guy” in all of this.

I guess this all stems from a few instances over the past few weeks that, if things keep progressing, will have me responsible for global warming, tsunamis and other natural disasters. I know, it’s why I get paid the big bucks and is part of being an administrator. However, I wonder if it’s really all worth the hassle.

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When I began this move in my career, it wasn’t to have to do this kind of stuff. I wanted to make a difference in education, to bring about some of the changes that, as a teacher, I found very frustrating and knew that there was no way I could have any significant impact without making a move out of the classroom. Instead, I’m finding it more and more a very isolating place to be.

For example, we just hired a teacher to cover a maternity leave coming up. One of our local substitute teachers applied for the job but didn’t get it. Now, instead of having a discussion with me about the reasons for not getting the job, it’s come to my attention that somehow I’m the one to blame for this person not getting the job. I won’t give any details but the candidate that was hired was able to demonstrate to a greater degree what they had done, their areas of strengths and areas they needed to improve upon.

Maybe I’m just too sensitive to these things lately. I’m not sure but after tonight, I am beginning to wonder if this is what I want to be doing. I guess I’ll spend the long weekend doing some reflecting on the whole situation. It just doesn’t seem like there’s a time where people begin to recognize that there is indeed some great things going on at the school and huge progress has been made in many areas and we are offering students more opportunities than ever with plans for more. Then again, maybe I just need some sleep!


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