Today, May 1st, is National Principal’s Appreciation Day, and it’s a day we won’t miss covering–not just to stay in our principals’ good graces, but because we are fairly certain that they don’t receive the recognition they’re entitled. As we know, our principal is Mr. Miller, and we have six assistant principals: Mr. Adams, Ms. Ard, Mr. Howell, Mr. Ingham, Ms. Spell, and Dr. Wright. They help operate the largest school in the system meeting the needs of 2,543 students and about 152 teachers.
A principal’s job is ANYTHING but sitting comfortably in an office.
Here are some fun facts to help you wrap your head around life as an administrator, so you can feel especially compelled to thank these people today, and give them a hug or shake their hand.
1. The job description is endless:
On top of daily student discipline, principals are entrusted with budgets, community relations, curriculum and professional development, parent concerns, teacher and staff concerns, student concerns, board concerns, facility management/maintenance, event coordination, event supervisions, program management and strategic planning, school traffic safety, overall school safety, student assessment, teacher assessment–the list goes on, and that’s just in the written job description.
- Principals also all develop personal connections with students and teachers to show support and address needs.
- They are most often first to arrive and last to leave.
- They attend every board meeting.
- They attend almost every major award ceremony to support their students involved in everything under the sun.
- They write shout outs for both students and staff to make them feel special and supported.
- They help sponsor, help organize, or help participate in community events that support students.
- They spend countless hours finding a way to make the school look good (physically and how it’s represented)
- They keep an open door for students and staff to freely come talk when they really have countless emails and phone calls to return or make.
- They will forever have more tasks than time.
2. They Fix Things
Principals take pride in their schools, and to be a team player, they jump in every role despite it being outside of their job description.
For example, Mr. Miller was seen being one of the last left at the Homecoming dance with broom in hand cleaning up the North cafeteria. Ms. Ard and Dr. Wright have been seen refilling the planters with flowers.
Principals may help clean vomit on the floor when a custodian can’t come, fix a leaky toilet or sink, or repair broken furniture.
Aside from repairing material things, they fix hearts offering a comforting ear and word to students crying over broken relationships, failed test, trouble at home, or just being over-stressed.
When there is a problem, they’re in charge of a solution. They are the go-to people for EVERYONE. Go read how many people are in this building again. This doesn’t count troubleshooting budget constraints, state testing, serving the needs of every child, and keeping a 63-year-old building looking amazing.
3. “The principalship: It’s not a job; it’s a lifestyle.”
–Eric Cardwell, principal in Alpena, MI
This quote comes from an article on EdWeek where it was reported principals work, on average, 60+ hour work weeks. The average full-time employee works 40.
If school events are going on late into the night…
If the building is open on the weekend…
If an alarm goes off in all the other unoccupied times…
The principal/ APs are there.
4. They go above the call.
Principals are known for their moments they go above and beyond. Whether it’s providing a ride to school, finding a way to get food to a family, or helping get a student a job–they’re there. Many have the story of when one of our principals did an extra-kind act they didn’t have to.
5. They go to great lengths to protect our safety.
It’s a time of utmost security in our schools due to national events. Increased Color Coded drills remind us of this. Our administration works very hard to ensure the safety of CHS not limited to:
- Bus drop off/pick up is highly coordinated and monitored to be efficient and safe.
- Overseeing increased technology protection for online safety.
- Helping monitor safety at sporting events.
- The building is constantly patrolled throughout the day inside and out.
- Overseeing camera monitors, a security staff, and a hotline for safe anonymous reporting.
- Lunches are monitored with teachers.
It should be obvious that being a principal/assistant principal is NO EASY GIG. They definitely deserve an extra thank you today.