On today's podcast, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Elementary Principal and ASCD Author Jennifer Schwanke to discuss her new book called “You're the Principal! Now What? Strategies and Solutions for New School Leaders.”
I met Jennifer Schwanke on a recent ASCD book chat and was completely amazed at how similar the story of a new administrator can be to the story of a new Tech Coach. In most situations, you may be the only one in your position in a building, you have to keep your confidence with little opportunity to lean others for support, and you have to remember that no matter what happens during the day, it is the relationships you forge that will ultimately create a successful and long-lasting career.
You Must Have Your Head Examined To Be A Principal
One of the things that amazed me about my conversation with Jennifer Schwanke was the constant reminder that, quite often, leadership is pointed out by others. Jen is not the first guest on the show who told me she had little to no ambitions to be an educational leader and instead it was only through a mentor that she found her calling to “the big desk.” Recently, Jennifer Schwanke wrote a rather interesting post about the fact that in order to be an administrator you might first need to have a little bit of brain surgery.
Now that you’re a principal, you’ve lost half your brain!
Who is Jennifer Schwanke?
Jen Schwanke began her career as a language arts educator eighteen years ago. She has worked at both the elementary and secondary level as a teacher and administrator. A graduate instructor in educational leadership, she has written frequently for literacy and educational publications and presents at literacy and leadership conferences. She is the author of the book, You're The Principal: Now What? Strategies and Solutions for New School Leaders.
How Can I Find The Book?
Topics Covered in the Podcast:
- What is it about being a school leader that people find most challenging? The most enjoyable?
- What are some inherent character traits important for school leaders? What are some traits that can be learned with time and practice?
You're Not Alone
- What is the importance of staying connected professionally?
- Where can a principal turn if he or she is struggling?
- What are ways a principal can stay fresh, avoid burnout, and be successful over the course of a career?
- How can you make sure you build a strong school community, and successfully make connections with the larger community outside your school's walls?
- Writing process questions:
- When and why did you start thinking about writing a book? How did you go about learning about the process?
- What were some challenges you faced throughout the process?
- What suggestions might you have for someone considering a book idea?
Do You Have A Story To Tell?
As I move more into educational leadership myself, I am interested in learning more from those who have already taken the plunge and had the lobotomy surgery themselves. Please feel free to reach out and invite yourself on the podcast. I would love to share your story.