This is my initial post back in August 2013 answering a similar question when I first participated in #SAVMP.
Everyone's path to leadership is different and it's one that has helped me get to where I am today in terms of why I lead.
Like all educators turned admin, it started in the classroom. In my case, leading a classroom of Grade 4's to not only learn, but do all the schoolwide activities opened my eyes to how much fun being a leader was. More importantly was how much the students got out of the experiences. The question then became whether or not I could lead a whole school of staff and students to achieve the same results.
The chance came and I took full advantage of the new challenge. So far in all my situations, each being different, has allowed me to build on previous experiences. The two most exciting aspects of why I enjoy educational leadership are watching teachers take risks in their class and then take the time to teach their colleagues as ongoing professional development. It's exciting and the payoffs are how engaged the students are.
When I look back, only 2-1/2 years ago, not too much has changed in my thinking as to why I enjoy leading and why I'm in my current position as an educational leader. Schools have changed for me and so have the size and demographics of the communities, but students are students and teachers are teachers no matter where you go. Goals and objectives of a public elementary institution remain the same.
Two big things have really influenced my desire to offer greater opportunities/experiences for teachers and staff I work with. My own two kids. They are now 8 and 10 years old and in the prime of their elementary years. They love going to school. Every day they come home and want to share their day of learning and experiences. Sometimes it's classroom related, other times its what's out on the playground.
So how do my two kids influence my thinking? Any time I work with staff or present new ideas, pedagogy, apps, or online tools it is not only for the intention of their class full of students, but in case, one day, or maybe, just maybe, one of those staff members go on to teach my own kids. You may think this is a long shot, but you never know; and if it does, I want my kids to have the best possible chance of experiencing the most current educational practices. I want my kids to be prepared for what lies ahead in the future.
The future is changing everyday. I, as an educational leader, must do my best to stay up on what is out there in educating the children of tomorrow. It would be no different than doctors, dentists, plumbers, engineers or scientists. They are always learning the latest and greatest in their fields as things change. Educators should be no different. Students are changing and so we need to adapt to their learning styles to ensure they reach their potential and become a valued member of society. We owe them that much if we are to have them in our care for those 13 years and roughly 6 hours a day (less pro-d, holidays and summer/winter vacations).
I am the Principal at David Livingstone Elementary School in Vancouver, BC. I am passionate about inspiring others to be creative, curious and collaborative in their learning