Under the inspiration and model of Dr. Sperry, and other Directors sharing their “What’s” at a Leadership Development Institute (LDI) and being encouraged by Craig Principal, Alison Bjoin, and Franklin Assistant Principal, Lisa Peterson, to “show the picture, tell the story,” Harrison Principal, Jessica Grandt prepared her welcome back speech for the 2012-2013 school year. Entering her first year as principal at Harrison, Grandt thought it imperative that her staff get to know her “what’s,” so that they would have an understanding of her leadership style and vision for Harrison Elementary School. The Harrison staff were able to better know her as she shared her “what’s”—the things that she stands for, believes in, that drive and motivate her.
Staff members were inspired as she shared her heart and passion, and they were encouraged to do the same by taking time to share their “what’s” with other staff members. What are Principal Grandt’s “what’s?”
1. Education is passion, the key to a child’s future. Principal Grandt is driven by and passionate about educating future generations because each child deserves a quality education. In fact, she stated, “It is our obligation to educate children; we are responsible for providing a quality education for each child here.”
2. Relationships are important. It is crucial to develop strong, positive relationships with co-workers, parents and students. We cannot do this alone, and it is only through relationships that we are able to successfully educate each child. “We need the staff, parents and students to know that we are all in this together.”
3. Principal Grandt wanted her staff to know that she is not only an educator, but also a mom. “It was important that my staff know that I have kids, and that I am a mom because that is the lens that I see things through. In each situation, I ask ‘Is this okay if my son were here? Would I want a situation handled this way if it involved my daughter?’ I’m not going to settle on treating these children differently than I would treat my own children.”
4. Using her son’s summer to do list, Ms. Grandt shared that she is organized. “If there are piles on my desk, I am probably stressed out.” This gave staff members a nonverbal cue to look for when approaching her during the day.
5. A positive attitude is key! “I wouldn’t want negative, crabby people working with my kids, and I want to provide the same care for other people’s children. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be days where someone needs to vent, but it is a about having a general positive attitude.”
What are your “What’s?” What drives you as an educator inspires and motivates you every day? Why did you decide to invest in the lives of children in the Janesville community? I want to encourage you to share your “what’s” here on this blog, but also, share with your coworkers, encourage one another and remind one another why we are each doing what we do everyday.