I want to be the very best school leader I can be. Why, because for me being a principal (or a teacher for that matter) is more than a job, it’s a vocation. I don’t go to work to produce something, to sell something, or to manage something. I go to work to make a difference. And that difference is measured in people’s lives.
What I do as a principal, the decisions I make, the school culture I create, the way I lead will make a difference in countless people’s lives. It can make a difference to the earning capacity of a young person; it can make a difference to a person’s sense of self-worth, to their wellbeing, the lives of their families, the lives of their future children and the lives of the communities in which they live. The sense of responsibility is huge; that is why I want to be the best principal I can be.
While I have been a school leader for 17 years I don’t think for a minute that I am the best. I can’t allow myself to think I am great because the moment I do I’ll lose the desire to be better. To be better I know that I have to be reflective, honest with myself, willing to be vulnerable and admit that I could have done something better. I often compare myself with other leaders, listen to what they do, learn from their wisdom and experience. However, one thing I really need as a leader is feedback. Without feedback I cannot truly understand the real impact I am having and how I can improve.
To promote growth feedback is vital. But to be of real value a recipient really needs to want it, be willing to listen to it and ultimately, have the desire to be the very best they can be for the responsibly they carry as an educator is enormous.
The same can be said about teaching. I don’t understand why all teachers aren’t driven by the enormous responsibility they have to very best they can be. Our children, and their children deserve outstanding teaching and outstanding schools.
Do you value and welcome feedback? What motivates you as an educator? Is teaching and school leadership more than just a job? If you are a leader, where do you get your feedback from?