As I type, I am on 5-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York City. As we are at the start of a new school year, I've got those first year principals on my mind. There are a lot of them out there all over the country. Trust me, I know because many of them have shared the news of their appointment with me throughout the summer. But now that they are in these important positions, the question now is, "Now what?" Literally, what is the plan for them from the day of their appointment all the way to the end of quarter number one - and then from the end of quarter number one to the end of quarter number two all the way to the end of the school year?
There are new principals in schools across the U.S. with various different prior work experiences including but not limited to:
- highly successful in the classroom and as assistant principal.
- worked in various administrative capacities successfully such as an assistant principal, supervisor and director.
- bad experiences as assistant principals and therefore never had exposure to the fullness of school leadership.
- went from the classroom right into the principalship and never served as an assistant principal or other administrative positions and therefore do not know school leadership.
- great assistant principal and served well in a #2 capacity but the jury is still out as to whether or not they can be a successful #1.
- didn't go the traditional route and instead of starting as a teacher, started as a counselor, social worker, school psychologist etc. or came out an entirely different industry but had leadership experience.
- appointed because the applicant pool was slim.
- and of course, there are those who were appointed because they knew someone of influence