I have recently started a new role as a principal for the first time, in a completely new school in a new country. I have moved within Asia from a small school to a very big school, and from a secondary school to a middle school.
At the same time I have been reading #Relentless by Hamish Brewer (@brewerhm on Twitter). The book is all about showing every single kid that you care, and building their resilience by helping them “go one more round”. Brewer talks about the importance of relationships before anything.
While much of the book so far has been meaningful, I was particularly struck by the advice Brewer had for someone like me: a new leader moving to a new school. He says:
I felt validated to read this, as I have been working with new faculty for two weeks, and the full faculty for one week. I felt like his thoughts were aligned with how I plan to get started, and what I had told our faculty from day 1. I talked about what they might expect from a new principal, what changes and initiatives were coming their way. Basically, there are no initiatives right now. I am in inquiry mode. I will be watching, listening, asking, reading. I told faculty the book I am currently reading is called SAIS Google Drive. I would be going into classrooms, meeting with every teacher, reading policies, to consider the lines of inquiry shown in the slide below right.
So that I can:
- find where the bus is
- start running alongside the bus
- jump on the bus
- help drive the bus
- enjoy the ride!