I realize that by becoming an Assistant Principal I took on a certain amount of "extra" responsibility--and by "extra," I mean that just about anything can be incorporated into my job description without any extra pay or release time. I get that, and that's fine. When I get overwhelmed, though, things can get rough . . . because the only support I seem to get anymore is a single sentence: "Well, that's part of your job." Here are a few observations I've made over the last several months:
Observation 1: Delegation is Not an Option
I'm the only one who can do my job. Seriously. There is no one else on this campus that do the things I do. I know this because whenever I try to delegate a task to someone seemingly competent--even those who may have the same task in their job descriptions as well--the response I get is "No, I can't do that."
Observation 2: Time is an Illusion
My work day is cut into three chunks: the first, then break supervision, the second, then lunch supervision, and the the third. During the first chunk, I'm approached by parents who have no appointment and tell me what they need by way of their life stories; during the second, for some weird reason, I have just enough time to tie my shooes and use the restroom; during the third, I seem to get some things accomplished. It's odd, too, because so many teachers tell me I'm the administrator they approach to get things done. (Me?)
Observation 3: There's an Invisible Sign on My Door
It says, "It doesn't matter what I'm doing or how much stuff is on my desk--it doesn't even matter if I'm talking on the phone--just come on in without knocking and ask me if I've got a minute. Before I answer, begin explaining to me what you need. The Universe revolves around you, not me."
Observation 4: Great Ideas and How to Kill Them
We had a big gaping hole in our communication infrastructure, and I figured out a way to plug it. It would be fun ('cause I like blogging), it wouldn't take long at all, and it wouldn't fall on anyone else's plate but mine. But I make this same mistake every few years: I take a really effective idea and I screw it up by asking permission. Evidently, a general Q & A blog leaves a school district open to liability--or, more likely, they're afraid I'll answer the questions honestly.
Observation 5: Apparently, I'm a Spy
My girlfriend teaches high school on my campus (relax . . . in a 7-12 environment, a middle school administrator can do that), and it has raised the administrative paranoia beyond "Condition Red." I have to be told every few days that I can't leak valuable information to the other side. It's never said that way, of course, but the implication is like pancake batter. I'm just wondering when they'll figure out that I argue with them NOT because I'm representing my teacher loyalty, but because I genuinely believe their ideas suck . .