22 Comments

  1. Marci Laevens

    Hey George. Love the idea of staff as a family. The best school I was ever a part of was definitely like a huge family. We hung out on the weekends, helped each other move, stepped in to help in the classrooms and gyms, argued, cried and supported each other. And it worked. It worked better than we even understood it at the time. Only after most of us had moved on to other schools and jobs did we realize that we had been a part of something extraordinary.

    The other part of this post that struck me was about passion. My passion is in coaching and teaching PE. I want to do it. I do it well. Yet “middle years pedagogy says” that we must move away from specialists. I know that some teachers in my school do not enjoy teaching PE and would rather if a specialist did it. It is hard for me to watch them hating it while I am yearning to be teaching it! Often I feel that I cannot focus on my passion because I am bogged down with preparation, planning and marking for the classes that I enjoy but am not as passionate about. The final product in both areas turns out to be “pretty good” instead of “amazing”.

    Just my thoughts.

    • georgecouros

      Thanks Marci! I agree with you and i know Cam would reiterate that :) Thanks for the comment! Glad to see you learning in the online world.

  2. 8amber8

    good grief. what an amazing blog post…i feel privileged to "know" you, GC. All administrators shld read this post. It is a great reminder of wht kind of "leader"
    I want to be…

  3. Vicki Swinger

    Just finished my 2nd year as an instructional coach where I served in 6 different schools, and I couldn't agree with you more! The most successful administrators follow these guidelines. I especially love the idea that "learning must be open and transparent." We expect this out of our students, why don't we practice it professionally?

    I can not wait to pass this on!

    ~Vicki Swinger

  4. missateaches

    Well George, I think we learned a lot this year. I read your blog and although my blog has a little bit of a different flavour, I think the key thing I learned from reading your thoughts is that I have to be my true and transparent self. Authenticity is key! The coaching and insights I received from you really ignited my passion in my career and for that I am truly thankful. I'm sort of glad you weren't around that last week of school, or I might have got a little choked up!

    • georgecouros

      We did Melissa…I am expecting you to work yourself up, cry, YouTube it, and send my way. 😛

  5. Erin Paynter

    Hey George. Having finished my first year as a Vice-Principal, I found myself nodding throughout as I read your post (and my husband was staring quizzically at me as I did). I echo your reflections as many of your points are running around my head as I'm preparing to write a similar post. Especially about school as family, students as the focus and being transparent. I've had parents mention my blog and at first I was nervous, thinking that maybe that it was "too much information". But the parents have really connected to it, and many new parents, who tend to shop around for schools, have said that my blog and our school blog were the reasons why they chose to register their children at our school. One family even said they chose to buy a home in our neighbourhood because of them.__Have a great summer and all the best as you head off in to new challenges and experiences.__Erin

  6. I think that the nine things on this list are what make you a great administrator and educator. I blogged about a similar topic not that long ago. It's good to reflect, and I love how much you do reflect. Excellent post, George!

    Aviva

  7. Anabolena DeGenna

    Enjoyed reading this post, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  8. Tom Hierck

    Thanks George. After twenty-eight years as an educator numbers 4 and 9 are still the keys for me. I feel sorry for those who tell me they have never made a mistake because I don't think they know how great they can be and have never pushed to the limits. I also know that building trusting relationships makes it safe to own up to those mistakes and learn and grow from them.

  9. Rebecca Woodcock

    Great post, George. I’ll be sharing this one with a friend who is transitioning from classroom teacher to assistant principal for the upcoming school year. She’ll be my assistant principal, so maybe I’m being a little self-serving in sending it on to her! :)

  10. Ryan

    I feel like 9 and 4 could bring you into conflict, which is not to say that they are not both true.

    Did it?

    If so, I would like to read posts about how you resolve those conflicts.
    Ryan

  11. I completely agree that we are here for the students! Far too often, administrators lose focus on this and start thinking in terms of "adults." One will never be able to satisfy all adults and should not try. One can create an environment that is creative and successful for students, and that is where education should focus.

  12. Nice post George. Being authentic and humble are the two keys to being a great leader. You nor I will ever please everyone and when you have to defend two sides instead of making decisions for the "best" then you lose the respect and admiration of the whole instead of the one party. As a principal or educator you must have passion for this type of position and what you do, and you must have compassion for all (teachers and students) equally. If you are authentic and transparent in your communications and actions your staff will navigate to you, trust you and admire you, I've always tried to work with this thought in mind; Don't listen to what people say necessarily, watch what they do! Yours in the fight…

  13. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

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