A principal's life
A principal’s life is certainly diverse. Take last Wednesday as an example:
6.00 am – Checked and responded to a few emails while eating my muesli.
7.00 am – Arrived at work and spent some time praying for the needs of some sections of our school community.
7.20 am – Spent some time working on a newsletter I send to staff twice a term.
8.00 am – Turned into a big kid (and loved it) by donning a Captain Hook costume and heading down to the bus bay to welcome students to school.
8.40 am – Thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Junior School morning assembly. The costumes our students wore were spectacular. I reflected on the enormous efforts many parents must have gone to in creating these sartorial works of art!
9.10 am – Came back to my office. One of the office staff very generously had made me a coffee, which undoubtedly helped me to work through some complex information related to the refurbishment of our hall.
9.30 am – I spent time working through matters related to school finances with our Business Manager, Peter Watters. I am very thankful that our finances are in great shape and are managed by people with expertise.
10.00 am – I met with our Head of Secondary, Greg Smith, to talk through an eclectic mix of topics related to Years 7 – 12. I was very encouraged to hear about the positive and effective recent goalsetting conversations in pastoral care groups.
10.30 am – I returned to the complexities of our art room and hall renovations and the installation of air conditioning in our classrooms. At some point I spent some time responding to a parental enquiry and briefly spoke to our Deputy Principal, David Stonestreet, regarding the effective communication of an upcoming event. Our Head of Junior School, Paul Carter, dropped in to brainstorm how to respond to the needs of a particular student.
A bit after midday – Realising that I needed to be at a principal’s meeting in Darling Harbour at 2.00pm, I changed out of my Captain Hook outfit and into my suit (although wearing the costume to the meeting certainly would have added some vibrancy to the event). I drove to Sutherland Station and had to park so far away that I might as well have walked to Jannali Station. I arrived at the meeting with sufficient time to spare to eat a delicious roast vegetable toasted sandwich I bought at Town Hall Station.
2.00pm - The principal’s meeting invited a guest speaker to share on effective communication in schools. I'm very thankful for our communications coordinator, Mr Geoff Miller, who is already doing a lot of what the guest speaker suggested. However, I think effective communication in schools is always something that can be fine tuned and improved and I appreciated the ideas the speaker shared. The latter half of the meeting spent time coordinating inter-school events for our students, such as debating and public speaking. Our school has participated in some of these events for some time.
Around 5.00pm – I met my wife, who was working in the city that day, and we caught the train home together. After dinner I spent a bit of time tidying up my email inbox and to do list (I use a Google product called todoist - a very helpful tool in helping to ensure that I get things done in a timely fashion). Making sure that everything is in order the following day helps me to sleep a bit better! We couldn't find anything that interested us on TV, so Kara and I enjoyed some time chatting.
I appreciate that this article is a little different to normal. I just thought that members of our school community might appreciate a narrative on
a day in the life of the principal. What I have just described isn't typical, because there isn't a typical day. I'm very thankful to God for the
privilege of leading our Christian School community and trust that my contributions are helping to create a positive, effective learning environment
for all of our students.
Mr Brett Hartley