Myth Number Two: When you become an assistant principal, the relationship with teachers turns into “Us verses Them.”
Before I became the assistant principal position at Timberview Middle School, I applied for many administration jobs. Throughout the interview process I learned a lot about leadership -some good, some not so good. During an interview last Summer a principal said this to me (pretty much his exact words):
“When you become a principal, you join the dark side. You can’t have the same type of relationship you have now. Now you have to be their boss.”
With all due respect, I think this leadership model needs some reexamining. As a leader, I don’t want to be on the dark side, I want to be on your side. How can one lead if both sides think they are against each other? We are in this together, and if we are to be successful at our jobs, both sides have to be on the same side!
As an educational leader, my goal is to build professional relationships with the staff:
- My relationship with you is built on mutual trust and respect. If I tell you I will do something, you can count on me to do it. I expect the same from you.
- I care about you, and I want to see you grow, both as an educator and a person.
- I support you. I’m on your side, and even if I disagree with you from time to time, I’m still your biggest fan!
- Sometimes conversations will be difficult, but I’ll always do my best to make those conversations about the issue, not the person.
- My door is always open. I’ll listen to you, even if it’s just to vent!
- I will treat you the way I would like to be treated…always.
- I’m there to support you.
Have I mentioned how much I love my job here at Timberview? I know that our leadership team here believes that everyone on the staff is on the same team. And as the great philosopher Yoda once said, “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the light .”