The Not-So-Secret Diary of a Principal
Primary school principal of St Brendan’s Ns, Blennerville, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
I love my role as school Principal, in particular it’s variety and the daily interactions of all within the school community.
I have an Instagram platform where I share my philosophy, it’s called @positiveprimaryprincipal
My alarm goes off…
@6:30am, I shower, have a bowl of cereal (porridge in the winter months!) and leave for school.
I am in school for roughly 7:30am and I enjoy this time in school in the morning to gather my thoughts. I write down my daily checklist which mainly contains priorities and general admin such as follow up phone calls and emails.
The caretaker and I are roughly in at the same time in the mornings and we take turns buying the morning coffees from the local shop next door to the school.
I really value this time and chat with our school caretaker as I rarely get an opportunity during the school day to have a conversation with him that is not work related. We talk sport mainly and I look forward to these chats every morning.
Psst… check out our blog-post on morning routines HERE.
I am responsible for…
Ultimately everything once I step foot inside the school building!
I am lucky enough to have a superb team of dedicated staff and the workload is distributed but I am acutely aware of the fact that I am solely answerable and accountable for everything. This can be an overwhelming thought but I see my job as a privilege.
I see leadership as not being about being in charge, but about taking care of those in your charge. I have a duty of care to both children and staff and that is always to the forefront of my mind.
My typical day...
No two days are the same!
I am an administrative principal and I ensure I get to visit classes as much as possible, I love to touch base with both children and teachers and to witness teaching & learning in action.
I visit classrooms to give birthday certificates & lollipop to the children who have birthdays, I also visit to give a hot chocolate to the students of the week in each class. I also enjoy going on the yard to converse with the children.
Meetings, phone calls, paperwork form part of nearly every day and I try to leave school at a reasonable hour every afternoon.
The best part of my job is...
Witnessing children happy and learning in school.
We as a school staff place a huge emphasis on pupil well-being and it is fantastic to witness our various initiatives bearing fruit. I enjoy interacting with all facets of the school community and receiving feedback from parents.
I also get huge satisfaction form interacting with staff, assisting staff and learning from staff along with working together as a team for the overall benefit and education of our pupils.
Find more details about here!
The most challenging part of my job is…
Juggling everything, it is an extremely busy role whereby the buck stops with me and this has its own pressure. One has to be courageous, I have to have the courage to make the difficult decisions, the courage to have the difficult conversation with staff or parents and the courage to stand by those decisions.
Psst… If you want to learn more about how to prioritise your time, check out this blog-post about effective decision-making HERE!
I am inspired by…
The staff I work with each and every day who give their all and utilise their expertise to educate our pupils. I ensure to make all staff aware on a regular basis that they are appreciated and valued as much as possible, this is one of my priorities as a principal.
I switch off once I leave the school! I engage in mindlessness activities. I try to exercise daily and watch an episode of a Netflix series. I have learned that whatever pops up late on any given evening can wait until the morning unless it is an emergency situation as one can often rush into a response to an email or a phone call late in the evening when tired and regret it afterwards.
The motto I live by…
Practice what you preach or change your speech!
School principals must be consistent and lead from the front, talk is cheap and one must be willing to row in and show all within the school community that you are a team player and that your motivations are genuine.
A huge thank you to Robbie for sharing his not-so-secret diary – we love the idea of birthday certificates and lollipops! Sounds like a lovely place to be every day!
Would you like to share your diary or like to suggest a teacher, principal or education professional whose diary you would like to read?!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate yourself or someone else – ah go on!
Go on, go on, go on!
Did you know that 74% of teachers do not feel confident with formative assessment teaching methodologies?
As we approach the new school year, this survey conducted by Rahoo Training in 2020, and its findings, should be at the forefront of a school leader’s mind.
Webinar 8th November 2023: How to Enhance the Teaching & Learning of Maths with Formative Assessment
“How to Enhance the Teaching & Learning of Maths with Formative Assessment” is 1 hour in duration including Q&A opportunities.
This webinar will be hosted by a Nadine Lyons, Maths Lead Practitioner at South View School Dubai.