Saturday, August 15, 2015

Q: What does a high school principal do every day? A: @prinicpalproject

As a high school principal, I'm asked a wide variety of questions (many of which would make quite an entertaining list). The question I'm asked the most, though, is "What does a high school principal do every day?" Before I became a high school principal, I'm not sure I ever really had stopped to consider the question. Had I known the reality of the answer, I might have waited a few more years before embarking on what has been one of the most challenging journeys of my life.

In truth, there can be no simple answer to the question. Even if I know exactly what my calendar says at the beginning of the day, I truly have no idea what each day holds. I divide my time each day, in varying amounts, between students, teachers, coaches, parents, colleagues, my boss, email, phone calls, unexpected visitors, and others. I am present daily in classrooms, gyms, hallways, elevators, stairwells, chapel, offices, parking lots, the cafeteria and the library. I divide my mental energy each day, in varying amounts, between teaching, learning, counseling, budgets, schedules, college placement, discipline, English, math, science, conflict resolution, negotiations, athletics, fine arts, maintenance, and more. And... I'm expected by everyone on my campus to be an expert in all of the above.

I could write more but I've decided to explore the answer to this question in a different way. For the 2015-16 school year, I'm going to provide an honest, unfiltered pictorial answer to this question by documenting my year with my iPhone. My medium will be digital images, and you can find my documentary on Instagram at @principalproject. There will be no self-promotion, no pitches, but rather just an honest look at what a high school principal does every day. I hope you'll consider following and spreading the word, not because you're interested in me. I hope you'll consider following because what a high school principal does every day is often interesting, sometimes exciting, usually challenging, occasionally maddening but ultimately, if the job has been done well, meaningful.

Posts begin August 19. I apologize in advance for occasionally posting more than once daily, thus breaking with Instagram etiquette.

If you are Instagramless, you can follow along on Twitter at @principalproj. If you have neither, come hang out with me.

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