As much as I’ve contemplated pressing encouragement of colleagues regarding some apparent potential to grow into a principal, I request a pass. I wholeheartedly respect my administrators and my administrator friends. Their duty is never easy. I admire their cool heads in tough times. I appreciate their ability to put out fires with students, parents, and yes, staff, including ones I start myself.
I do not want to nor could I…do that. Period.
Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see higher bimonthly payroll deposits. I would love to be able to know all of the students at my middle school; right now, I only get to know the eighth graders really well. I would love to have a stronger, more revered voice when it comes to public perception of education, policy-making, and educator evaluation. I would enjoy the position to be able to leverage community support for my colleagues than I have now.
Oh. Wait. I can have all those things now. Thanks to Seth Godin’s Linchpin, I can! A powerful and relatively quick read, Linchpin offers strong suggestions of leadership “among the ranks.” And, that’s where I am most effective. In the ranks. Working directly with the kids, while working collaboratively with my able administrators to make our world in the middle a more positive and productive place where students can learn and succeed. I appreciate the nod, but I prefer to stay here in the fox hole, where it’s wet, cold and sometimes downright messy. Sometimes, it’s just the place to do the most effective leadership triage.
So if you’re like me and just not ready to jump the ranks quite yet, here’s to your inner linchpin!