“Is she really a new principal?”
“She seems so confident for a newbie.”
“Will I be as good as her when I first start out as an administrator of one kind or another?”
“Did she just say that she just shows up at a student’s house without announcing that she’d be coming over…to convince the family that their child is welcome back even though that child has been known to cause trouble. Wow! That’s pretty bold. Will I be that bold?”
Those were the few questions that were running through my head as she spoke.
I’ve really learned a lot from Julie Waage in such a short period of time. I kept hearing the words, “vision” and “values” repeatedly as she spoke. She took the time to get to know the history and values of the school’s community. Her school has been around a long time and several generations have attended there as well. Her school has long-held tradition she had come to appreciate and value. I feel like I’m starting to get an “a-ha” moment with mission, vision, values and goals. Not only can they drive the school, they can drive you to the right school (that is, if you know what your visions and values are).
I was impressed that she met with every staff and community members of her building and asked each one three basic questions: “Who are you? What are you greatest hopes/expectations for the next year? What are some of your fears?” As a current teacher, I know I would’ve been thankful that someone would take the time to get to know me. I’d imagine that it would make them feel valued, respected and hopeful.
But…yes, but…all that takes time and energy. I can see the value of taking the time to make everyone feel like they have meaning within the school. I can see how it must make a family feel to be told that their child is welcome back and will be given a chance to improve. I can’t help but wonder if I’d be able to accomplish as much as she has in such a short period of time.
What were your takeaways after listening to Julie Waage talk? Did she make you feel fear that, perhaps, you may not be a good as her? Or, did she make you feel, “Well, if she can do it, so can I?” Do share, I’d love to know what thoughts were swimming around in your head.