Dear Series: 1st Year Administrator

5 Things that I learned as a 1st Year Administrator

Dear 1st Year Admin

I remember getting the call to come and sign my contract. That same day, a close coworker told me that I officially crossed over into the dark side. Although, I did not want to agree, he was right. I was no longer a part of the “us”; I was now a part of “them.” I remember being excited about the journey (and the excitement still captivates me today). I was determined to be a bright light on the dark side. In a previous post, I highlighted the best advice a friend gave me the night before my first day on the job. To this day, his advice is the thread that holds my leadership fabric together.

My first administrative position was at a 6A comprehensive Texas high school – that’s code for 3300 students, 250+ staff members, and an impressive assortment of academic and professional opportunities. Here are five things that I learned my first year that continue to hold true today:

  1. Embrace the crazy –  Every day is an adventure. Flexibility, a sense of humor, and an empathetic heart were the cornerstones of my sanity and survival.
  2. Develop a mentor/mentor relationship – Find and nurture a mutually beneficial mentor relationship with someone…from whom you would like to learn and with whom you would like to grow.
  3. Compartmentalize your day – Create a healthy work and personal life balance. I choose not to take work home – either physically or emotionally. Set boundaries and routines that meet your needs once you leave school each day.
  4. Enjoy the adventure of learning – The curve is steep, which is the fun part. Be a continuous learner in every aspect – model this for your students, staff, parents, and community members.
  5. Stay connected to the classroom – This is your gift. In theory, you are the closest you will ever be to the classroom as you grow professionally. Use this to your advantage. Stay grounded in the classroom.

4 Comments on “Dear Series: 1st Year Administrator

  1. I can relate SO well to your post, Anthony! I’m in my 10th year as an administrator, and I can still remember what it felt like that first year! I think all of your suggestions are spot on. The biggest aha that I had to learn over time was that I needed to take care of ME first in order to be my best while serving others.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

    • Jennifer, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You make a great point (again) that you cannot support others if you are not supporting yourself first! 🙂

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