When people find out what I do and where I do it, many ask me why I drive all the way to Hutchinson (a 45 minute commute) every day to work as a principal. They ask me things like:
How do you handle the drive?
Doesn't it take a lot away from your family?
How do you handle balancing it all?
What about dealing with all of the behaviors? Is it worth it?
Why would anyone want to do such a thankless job?
These are all valid questions. They can also be great hurdles. I have to have strategies in place to help me combat the side effects. Here are some of those answers/strategies:
How do I handle the drive? I handle the drive because my morning and afternoon drives are filled with Voxer messages from fellow principals from all over the country. They offer support, advice and professional development every single day. They are my life-line. They make it possible for me to get back on the horse...even after the days where I've been bucked off. And even though I heard some version of "Cowgirls don't cry" from my Papa all the time, sometimes it does help to do that on the way home, too.
Does it take away from my family? How do you balance it all? I'm a work in progress when it comes to balance. When education is your passion, you can't ever turn it off. It does get in the way of family time. I never see my kids in the morning and I leave way too late. However, when my family needs me, I don't ever feel guilty about putting them first.
What about behaviors? Well, we all know behaviors are the toughest part of our jobs. They wear us out. We don't have the answers or the magic wand. All we can do is work as a team, keep coming up with ideas, and keep trying. Our kids can't afford for us to give up on them.
(However…IF someone has a magic wand, I would be happy to ask PTO for the funds to buy it! J)
Why would you want to work in education?
There are many reasons for my why:
I know this time of year can be very difficult so I want you all to take care of yourself and lean on your tribe. It’s the difference between surviving and thriving.
Principal of PreK-6th Grade