10 Reasons You Were Meant to Be a School Head
Vol. 15 No. 2
School Heads may have one of the hardest jobs in the world, being expected to be “on duty” during every emergency and every rally. You navigate social media meltdowns, campus emergencies, faculty requests, and parent expectations every day—and your biggest thank-you is a smile from a student at your presence.
That smile is probably the biggest reason why you signed on for this job in the first place. However, just in case you’ve forgotten why you wanted this gig, we’ve got a list of the top ten reasons why being a School Head was what you were meant to do.
Reason #10: Breakfast is the most precious meal of your day.
Whether it’s a powerbar in your car, a stop at the local coffee shop, or a full-blown meal with eggs, bacon, and your caffeine flavor of choice—you’re dedicated to eating something before the work of the day begins. (Who knows when you’ll get another ten minutes of downtime to enjoy another meal until work is done for the day?)
Reason #9: Wearing just one hat would be boring.
Ambassador to worried parents, therapist to frustrated teachers, and president of a miniature education-nation—those are just a few of the roles you play on a daily basis. That’s not to mention chief liaison to prospective donors, amateur weatherman for winter delays and dismissals, impromptu tour guide … the list goes on, challenging your skill and ingenuity to its limits.
Reason #8: “Diplomat” is your middle name.
When anxieties flair between your various constituencies, you’re there with a reassuring smile and a handshake to de-escalate hostilities and reach an amicable resolution. Gossip is tamed with a word from you, order is restored, and you enable everyone to proceed with their days—until the next fire ignites.
Reason #7: Carpool duty is one of your favorite times of the day.
It’s a chance to step outside of the office and meet your truest constituency: The students. Nothing feels better than watching happy children run up to involved and excited parents, who often stop to chat with you about what your school’s doing right.
Reason #6: You communicate a vision that few others would have had the imagination (or the courage) to pursue.
Under your tenure, your school is navigated through current successes to reach an ultimate goal for those nebulous future generations of families that will come down the road. You may see a grand technology center, or a teacher development program that other schools from across the country will send their teachers to attend. These things will build up your school’s ability to deliver its mission—and they would not be possible without your drive and vision.
Reason #5: Meeting new people and prospective coworkers energizes your own work.
Hiring and evaluating those who teach and manage at your school is an opportunity to share knowledge and experience with everyone. It’s a chance for you to work as a team with your employees to figure out the best way to deliver your school’s educational programming to its students in the most effective, mission-appropriate way possible. In hearing these other ideas, you feel inspired for your own “daily grind.”
Reason #4: Your presence at student activities and events marks the arrival of a VIP, ratifying and rallying their efforts.
When the School Head makes time to see a student play or browses the exhibits at the annual science fair, it excites student participants and legitimizes their efforts. You become a magnet for proud demonstrations and excited recitals, allowing you to personally witness the growth in your school’s students while justifying your own hard efforts and long days.
Reason #3: Your faculty and fellow administrators' successes on behalf of your school make you prouder than any accomplishments you’ve achieved on your own.
Managing a private school is not a solo, heroic affair. It’s the culmination of your work and that of your teammate’s. Their successes, small and large, mean that your school is growing in the right direction—and you take enormous pride in being a part of that positive growth and change.
Reason #2: You truly believe in the mission of your school.
Out of all of the schools and jobs available, there’s a reason you picked this school to help with your unique skills and talents. You are part of something that’s bigger than just your career, picking up a paycheck and forgetting about work as soon as you clock out. No, you contribute to the next generation of young adults who will go on to change the world—and remember their school days with fondness.
Reason #1: You love your students, your families, and your colleagues.
… Because, at the end of the day, that’s why you’re in private-independent education: To do the best you can for the next generation by delivering your mission with love and integrity.