Thursday, August 7, 2014

Everybody Is Important, All the Time

I'll be totally, completely honest about my first day has a Headmaster at Saipan International School with my full faculty -- I was nervous and I believe it showed; but, I did survive and the second day was much better. The first day of classes with students went well and I wasn't too nervous. Every day I'm feeling like things are getting a little better, a little easier. So to reflect this early in the year could be a mistake, but I learned a lot during the faculty orientation and the first two days of school. My big take away thus far is -- everybody is important and everybody needs to know that you think they are important. Everybody. When parents come to campus and visit, they need to feel like they are welcome and part of the community. When students come into the office to ask questions, they need to feel like their concerns are important to you. When faculty make requests, they need to feel like you are supporting them. When staff members are working, they need to know that you noticed their efforts. Everybody is important, all the time. This job is about giving, not taking.

An example, one of my staff members was asked to move three stacks of chairs; when the teacher pitched in by grabbing one of the stacks and I joined in by grabbing the other stack, I thought her jaw was going to hit the floor. She was very appreciative that the "boss" was willing to help out with the manual labor. A simple gesture, but it meant a lot to her. Little things add up. Another example, a teacher has been using her class to organize the library every week and for three years, she has been asking for an extra shelf to be moved to the library to provide more room for books. The shelf is in another room and not being used. It will be moved this weekend. A simple gesture, but it meant a lot to her. My business office manager told me, "Each one of them (teachers) have a pet project and it means a lot to them." She is absolutely right. If you help people achieve things that are important to them, even if they are small actions, it shows a solidarity as Ben Summerton would say.