Here's what a morning looks like for a principal....
7:15 a.m. – You step out of your car and onto a peaceful campus. The lawn looks clean and the flag greeting you with sharp flaps. You smile as you walk into the building taking in the smells of a well cleaned learning institute. A few students have already arrived on the early bus and are sitting in the cafeteria quietly. Yes indeed, life is good.
7:30 a.m. – Teachers are on duty. The day is starting to come alive and you are ready, sharp as a tack.
7:45 a.m. - The first bell rings and all of a sudden the campus is buzzing like a bees nest. “Move along!” “Get to class.” “Put your cell phone away.” “Pull your pants up.” “Can I go to the nurse’s office?” “Can I call home?” “I need a tardy slip.” “Sir, do I really have to go to In School Suspension today? I said I’m sorry!” “Wait, I’m not finished with my breakfast. I’ll go to class when I’m finished” “I have to walk my girlfriend to class first.”
8:00 a.m. - Miss Unwell just called in sick and you need a substitute right now! There’s a fight in the bathroom. Two parents are waiting for you in the office and they don’t look happy. The superintendent is on the phone and a sales person is waiting to talk to you. No worries you can handle it. “That’s why they pay you the big bucks.”
Have you ever wondered where those big bucks are that everyone talks about you getting? For those of us who have been a campus principal we know that this is a typical morning and we don’t see or get the big bucks. But what we have are amazing teachers, successful students, and a support staff that truly supports us. Sure we would love the big bucks but that is not why we became campus leaders.
At the end of the day, as tired as we are, we drag our drained bodies to our car and we drive home still believing life is good.