I have been doing the administration gig for 10 years now and my understanding of the role and its expectations have evolved over the years. I have greatly enjoyed and embraced the role, yeah it has its challenges and there are definitely some days that I would rather be back in the classroom, but for the most part it is a great job and I love the day to day interactions with students, staff, parents and the community. One of the things that has evolved for me is the expectation that I have all the answers to the plethora of questions I receive. The funny thing is, the expectation from myself is what has evolved, not necessarily the expectation from others. When I first started in administration, I believed I needed to have all the answers. I worked hard & read voraciously to learn all I could. Sometimes this ended in foolish decisions that revealed my inexperience, but thankfully, more often than not, I was able to make sound decisions and pass along good advice.
This is one of the many reasons I stay "connected" as an educator. By attending workshops, conferences, #edcamps, reading blogs, and staying active on Twitter, I have been able to check in and learn from educators all over the world. Thanks to these Social Media tools, I have been able to ask questions of the authors of the many professional books I read or listen to when attending conferences. So now that I have access to these many well informed, well researched, well written, and experienced educators and authors, am I expected to keep all of their knowledge in my head? Do we expect our teachers to remember everything they have heard and read? Do we expect them to get it right the first time? Do we expect that of our students? Unfortunately sometimes I do think some people expect that of our students, but I know I don't. I have heard a great many people share how we are now in the information age, and that the amount of information available has grown exponentially in just the last decade and the rate keeps increasing. There is an ever increasing amount of information, strategies for teaching, brain research and technology tools to improve all we do. So, why is it I see people talking about it being okay that principals don't have all the answers, but teachers keep coming in and asking for the answers and wanting it now (or even preferably yesterday). Is there a double standard? I don't think so. I'm not looking to point fingers at teachers, they are under incredible scrutiny at this time, and many feel like all of the initiatives to improve education are being crammed down their throat and they have been given no time (and very little financial support) to learn about them. The common approach I see and hear about has been, "implement this now so we are ahead of the game, and if we make a mistake.....we still have another year to fix it."