Are you a student principal?


I met with a colleague yesterday to discuss our upcoming presentation for the Texas ASCD #Ignite13 on leveraging social media as an administrator for your staff, students, and families. He is a secondary principal who has recently been promoted to an area director in our district, so I feel like I was in the presence of a celebrity, 😉

As an elementary AP, it was interesting to hear his high school gems. The things that are SO important to elementary teachers and our climate are totally different than his. I found myself writing down several of the things he said, as just a reminder that there is a BIG picture out there. I think in my elementary world that gets lost.

My favorite line is from a discussion he had with a teacher over a scheduling decision that he was unwilling to be flexible on. (His policy made it easier for ALL students to get the credits needed to be successful and not be penalized for wanting to do extra-curriculars throughout the school year.) He told the teacher that he was here for the students.  He was a STUDENT principal, not a teacher’s principal. He made his decisions on what was best for the students, not for the convenience of teachers. It made me think of the powerful piece I read from Jimmy Casas over the weekend, Front Porch Leadership.

Our job is make all of the adults that come in contact with our students have that kind of mentality, that we are truly here for the students. Their success, their self worth, their future. Inspiring others to WANT to be that way is my goal for the 2013-2014 year.


note taking,




  1. Jimmy Casas said:

    Amber,I would love to meet your colleague. What you both said is so true. There are rarely simple answers when dealing with student concerns, especially when it involves a struggling learner. I often remind my staff that my job is to advocate for students first, but that as teachers they are a close second. It takes patience and courage to navigate this course, because sometimes others don’t quite see it this way and it can create turmoil in your school culture if not managed appropriately. It is these situations that create the most difficult challenges, but are also the most rewarding when your influence changes someone’s thinking to a students first mindset. Keep fighting the good fight. Our kids need us!

    May 31, 2013
  2. Shawn Blankenship said:

    Amber, thank you for sharing this experience and especially for sharing Jimmy Casas’s Front Porch Leadership. Fostering a school culture in which all educators put students first is an important step to building a school of excellence. As an educator, if you find yourself stuck between two decisions, I’ve learned the one that requires more work is the best decision for kids. Thanks again for sharing. Stay connected, Shawn

    June 1, 2013

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