The new guy.
I've begun at a new school as Principal after 7 years at my first school as Principal. I've moved from a rural U3 school to urban U5.
I came home from day one and felt pleased I'd had 7 years experience to equip me to deal with day 1. I'm nearly 2 weeks into it. It's been a blur. It's exciting. It feels right. I'm being well supported and made to feel so welcome. i'm aware there'll be a honeymoon period.
I was welcomed officially by the school through song, some short speeches and flowers for my wife and a book for our 2 year daughter. Nice. Meet a prospective parent. Time in rooms. Chat to some students. Lunchtime. The afternoon whizzed by and I then went out and farewelled everyone at the front gate. Board meeting that night and it was over.
This week I've been having 30 minute one to one chats with each staff member. We're breaking ice and talking about things that have come to light from a self-review sheet I gave out at Teachers only day in the school holidays.
I'm learning lots. Asking questions. Trying to contribute and take the lead. I know nothing is really going to happen until I get relationships going, send some time and build the relational trust. Everyone gets it. Time. Energy. And more time.
I came in feeling a bit sorry for the school to be honest. 20 years with an outstanding leader and a staff that have been together for a long time. And then, BOOM, me! I was worried that it would be strange for them, I'm sure it is. I was worried that they'd worry I would come in and make all these changes. I said reassuring things to let them know that I'm more about evolution than revolution, so they needn't panic.
I had an epiphany today. It's not them that will change as much as what I will. Everything's new for me. It's the same for them, apart from me. It's a different person, and yes, I'll have a different way and different strengths and weaknesses, but things will be the same, for a while anyway. I will change though. Far more quickly.