I've just finished a week acting up in the absence of my principal. I'm happy with how things went and I enjoyed the experience, but I'm quite comfortable with my principal returning to her job next week!!
What were my goals?
There were probably two focus points I had for the week, both of which are also at the forefront of my mind when doing the AP role, but probably crystalised in focus for me when being the main point of leadership for all staff:
- Being 'out and about' and visible for staff and students:
I wanted to make sure I made the most of my time when 'the people' were there. i.e. Being accessible to staff and students, as well as proactive about getting 'on my bike' and being in and out of classrooms. I wanted to use the 'non-people' times of the day [mornings, evenings] to work on the various administrative tasks that needed doing [emails, timetables, future planning, etc... ].
Our school is very detail-oriented - a lot of importance is placed upon thorough plans being in place. This approach plays out in the way our daily bulletin is communicated, with each day's items of significance documented in blow-by-blow detail in an online space. Whilst this run down is also displayed in the staffroom, I wanted to make sure I covered every base in terms of communicating information, by talking with people face-to-face about any changes / reminders / special events / etc. affecting them.
Did we tread water, or did we keep moving forward..?
I think we ended up progressing a few more things than I'd planned to - I may be put on a tighter leash next week!!
- We had positive and productive Leadership, Full Staff and School Council meetings - we were fortunate to have positive, supportive people involved at each of these meetings.
- We progressed a couple of fairly urgent staffing situations - again, excellent support was provided from our recruitment contact.
- We had quality teaching and learning occurring throughout the school - good teachers, working hard with positive attitudes...
Confession: I was lucky...
I was lucky for a couple of significant reasons:
- Our school has an excellent team of teachers, office staff and support staff - everyone hit the ground running for the start of a new term, demonstrating flexibility, positive attitudes and great teamwork.
- Our principal - although she has been away on some idyllic, tropical location... I've known in the back of my mind that if the proverbial did hit the fan, she would respond rapidly to any email I sent to her with a red exclamation mark... In short, I had a safety net. She also did an amazing job setting things up for us before she left - it was almost a fool-proof scenario [I was probably a good test for this notion!!]
So, yes, I enjoyed the experience of the past week, but I [and probably everyone else] will breathe a little sigh of relief next week when our real captain returns to the ship.