My 10 goals as a 1st year administrator…

Over the last couple of weeks I have been utilizing the power of my PLN to garner advice and feedback as I begin my transition into the role of an administrator. I am completely humbled and amazed at the level of support and encouragement I have received. This is a true testament to the commitment and dedication so many Educators have to improving education. Check out these amazing comments on my “The Journey Continues” post, and also check out this entire blog post, “Advice to New Administrators” by @hatcherelli.

Even though my assistant principal journey has already begun, I won’t officially start until July 20th, which fortunately gives me some time for my “list.” As all great Educators do, I feel it is important to outline some personal goals and aspirations. This list of 10 goals will be on my desk as a daily reminder of what I am aiming to accomplish:

I will help to create a shared vision for students, staff and community members. I will take the time to gather input and knowledge from as many stakeholders as possible.

I will utilize my supervisory time to build and establish relationships with students and staff. I will talk with students and staff and ask them about their lives in a sincere and caring manner. I will take an active interest in learning as much as I can about them.

I will have high expectations for students, staff and myself. I will help to empower others to take control of their own learning and development by establishing an environment built on accountability and responsibility.

I will support and encourage those with whom I work. I will work to embrace a sharing and collaborative school culture that takes risks in an effort to do great things.

I will listen more than I talk. I will use my two ears more than I use my one mouth, and I will try to learn as much as I can from others. I will make it a priority to get into classrooms to observe on a daily basis, and I will learn by listening and observing.

I will communicate with and involve parents and community stakeholders as often as possible. I will work with teachers and staff to keep parents informed and up-to-date with what is going on in our school through the use of weekly newsletters, our school website and social media outlets.

I will share the power of my PLN with my colleagues. I will take the time to meet with anyone interested in learning more about using social media as a means toward professional growth. I will model being a lifelong learner for both students and staff.

I will have a healthy balance between my professional and personal life. Though I anticipate the high level of time commitment required for this job, I do not want my job to consume my entire life. My family, friends and colleagues will all benefit from this healthy balance.

I will figure out a way to get in the classrooms to teach. If this means working out a schedule to teach a class so a teacher can observe another teacher, or if this means just giving a teacher a break so I can teach, then so be it. I love teaching and I am sure I will miss it; plus, it’s a great way to model effective instructional strategies for younger teachers.

I will base every decision I make on what is best for students. It is difficult to not get caught up in everything that is going on, but I will make every effort to put students and their needs first.

What goals would you add…?

Cross posted here:


  1. Terri Reh said:

    As a teacher, I love your commitment and think many of your aspirations should apply to all school staff. What to add? How about the “No Office Day?” I would love to see my principal see classrooms at work without thinking it was an observation.

    June 14, 2011
      • Justin Tarte said:


        Thanks for the comment. I am very familiar with @dwight_carter and @datruss ‘ “no office days.” I actually talked about using this model during my interview to get the job! I think the NOD is a great idea and I look forward to using this model as often as possible.

        Thanks again for the comment!

        June 15, 2011
  2. Kristin Harper said:

    I just completed my third year as a building principal. I enjoyed reading your goals and agree with and aspire to reach the same goals every year. The best advice I have to give is to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS! It is all about relationships with students, staff, parents, and the community. If you have good rapport and relationships with all stakeholders, they will do anything to help you attain your goals!

    June 15, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:


      Thank you for the comment. I think you are exactly correct; relationships are and will always be the key to any success in any job. I hope to use any and all my time in the halls to talk with students and be proactive to build strong relationships with as many students as possible. Congrats on 3 years as a building principal!

      June 15, 2011
  3. Tim Bray said:

    Great list of personal/professional goals for a first year in administration; I especially liked the one about teaching class. When I was the Dean of Students for two years, teaching a class was the thing I missed the most. I was told be other administrators that principals teaching isn’t the way we do things around here and that there isn’t any time for it. After a year back in the classroom to reflected, I know that it SHOULD be the way we do things and there is enough time. I encourage you to go for it! Next year my half-time tech integration position becomes full-time, but I have worked with my building principal to make sure I have students for clubs and advisory. He informed me that I’m the first teacher at the school to ever request to have an advisory class. Cheers and good luck!

    June 15, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:


      Thanks for the comment. Fortunately I have already spoken with my new building principal and he totally agrees with getting in the classroom to teach when possible. That must have been difficult being told “that is not how we do things here” by your co-administrators. I am not really a big fan of that phrase, because I think we should always be open to new and different ideas.

      Good luck in your expanded position, and thank you for the comment!

      June 15, 2011
  4. Kyle said:

    Justin, I have to add one phrase that says it all:

    Make every student feel significant every day. – Courtesy of Doug Player.

    June 15, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:


      I love it! Thanks for the great comment!

      June 15, 2011
  5. ohhhhhhhh, Justin! 🙂
    One of things I did this year that has come in handy was to keep a notebook and every single time somethng came up that I thought “Oh! I should do it _____way next year!” I wrote it down. I have like three pages of ways that I wanted to remember to make adjustments for in different situations. From things like changing the way I track grade level data to bigger things, how much time needs to elapse after a teacher has a bad day before I say something to her. As my year closes today (woohoo!) I am so thankful that I have these reminders of how to hit the ground running..

    I’d also HIGHLY reccommend rereading (if you’ve read) “How full is your bucket?” It’s an awesome reminder of how we need to suppoert, encourgae, and lift up our teachers in the trenches.

    Last, one more thing I do, I set up auto send emails that say hi, have a good day, and you’re doing a GREAT job, something randomly positive, to go out randomly to everysingleteacher on my campus. I space them out throughout the semester, just for a lil’pick me up, so they know that I am thinking about them and supporting them. Obviously, I also send them more timely ones as the year progresses, but this ensures EVERY teacher (Not just my superstars) know they are a memeber of our team, 🙂

    Enjoy your summer!! I know you’ll be counting down!!!

    cheerN 4U,

    June 16, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:


      Thanks for the great advice. You are definitely a great resource with a ton of valuable information :). We read “How full is your bucket” in my book club this year; the entire building will be reading the book this upcoming year. Thank you again for the very specific and concrete examples of ways to ease my transition into the administrative role.

      Rock on!

      June 17, 2011
  6. Anonymous said:

    In Which School you will be the principle ?

    June 18, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:

      I will be the Assistant Principal at Poplar Bluff Junior High School, in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

      June 18, 2011
  7. Dave said:

    All very good commitments Justin and a good review for more seasoned admins. I wish I had a list like this when I started out.

    Getting into classrooms to teach or supervise can be tough. What’s worked best for me was to specifically note it in my calendar as an appointment, then I was committing to it. IF it needed to be switched, I would change the appointment. When I did this I found I could cover a lot of classrooms and interact quite a bit. I genuinely said to teachers, “I am interested in what you do in your classroom, so I can learn from you as well.”

    BTW, if you want to teach more, come to Saskatchewan. Rural schools here still have the VP and/or principal teach (as I do now). 🙂


    June 19, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:


      This is excellent advice as I move toward for my first principalship. I really hope that by being more visible and involved with classroom activities students and staff will see me as more than just “the assistant.” I hope to be an integral and active part of the learning environment, which should in turn reap huge benefits when it comes to building and establishing relationships with both students and staff.

      Thanks for the comment!

      June 21, 2011
  8. Angie said:

    Nice Post, Justin! Just finished an 8-year principalship with Gahanna Middle School South and will be starting a new position next school year. Your post made light of a few things I must rethink and put as high priority. Thanks for the reminders and for the refreshers!
    “Dream Big!”

    June 21, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:

      Angie, congrats on finishing 8 years, and congrats on the new position you will be starting this upcoming school year! “Dream big” sounds like a great way to approach all aspects of one’s life 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

      June 21, 2011
  9. Rob Aguilar said:

    You are stepping into a job that will never bore you. Smile, enjoy it, and remember to save time for yourself and family.

    NOD are great. They give students a chance to see you, parents notice, and is a great way to start conversations with teachers. As an AP, and even now as a principal, it was easy for me to get chained to my desk, but I work with my Admin Asst to set my schedule and protect those days on my calendar.

    June 22, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:

      Thanks for the comment Rob,

      It will definitely be a team effort, and I think “protecting” that time will be absolutely essential in making sure I can get to the classrooms as frequently as possible. Most importantly, I need to remember to smile and have fun 🙂

      Thanks again for the comment.

      June 30, 2011
  10. Stacey said:

    I am starting a new administrative role this year too. I am looking forward to it but there is much intrepadition as I begin this new role. I think taking the time to write out your goals and vision is a great idea. It really gives you a good jumping off point, so I will be “stealing” some of your goals to get me started in just a few days. Thanks for the great post.

    June 28, 2011
    • Justin Tarte said:

      Congrats and good luck in your new endeavor as well Stacey! I am sure you will be tapping into the power of your PLN as much as I do.

      Thanks again!

      June 30, 2011
  11. Maria Cecilia said:

    Thanks for your post now I am thinking and dreaming to become a principal in right time.

    November 5, 2016
  12. Ashley said:

    Good Evening

    I would like to ask advice. I am a deputy principal. What do you do if your principal does not want to work with you?

    November 21, 2016

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