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Principal: one of the best jobs imaginable

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a principal? Does it seem exciting or stressful? Maybe you are wondering right now, “What does a principal do all day?”

Even though every school is different, there is one thing in common about a principal’s role in any school: each day brings something different. Some days the surprises are good; some days not so much. But everyday guarantees an adventure. Let me share what it is like to be the principal at Prestwood Elementary School.

First, you need to know that a principal spends a huge amount of time solving problems. The title of “principal” could probably be replaced with “chief problem solver.” I meet with parents to figure out how to help their children get their homework done each day. I meet with groups of parents to plan special PTO events. I meet with second grade students to solve disputes over who stepped on the fairy house they were building, and I meet with fourth and fifth grade students to solve the eternal dilemma of picking even football teams at recess. I meet with teachers to brainstorm how to engage a distracting student or why the headphones for the iPads keep breaking. Problem solving meetings dominate my calendar, and they require patience and perseverance.

I plan for the daily routines of meetings and battling my enormous email inbox, but just as often I am called on to take care of the unexpected. One morning, I might need to help get iPads connected to a slow Internet connection, but later that afternoon I am called on to deal with a stray dog.

The next day I need to help with traffic during morning drop off, and don’t forget to wear grubby clothes because I am cleaning out the storeroom with our custodian at 9:30. This schedule does require flexibility, but isn’t all bad.


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