The Principal's Office
Leadership. Collaboration. Innovation.
"Do you want to be great?" It's a very interesting question to think about. I'm sure the typical answer would be..."Of course I want to be great." The question that I have is "How do you measure greatness?" Do you measure greatness by an evaluation score? My answer is no. Do you measure greatness by an SGO or PDP? My answer is no. Do you measure greatness by a series of lesson plans? My answer is no. While all of those things contribute to the effectiveness of a teacher, Dave Burgess states in his book "Teach Like a Pirate" that "A teacher’s impact can only be measured through generations, not through a single test." Too often we lose sight of what is important about our jobs. We have the opportunity to shape the lives of young adults. At an elementary school, or middle school level (where I am) we often don't see their success as students move on into high school and beyond so we tend to live in the "now." However, sometimes we are fortunate to hear from a former student or hear about a success that one of them has had later in life. Defining greatness is difficult.
However, the great thing about teaching is that you don’t have to figure it all out before you begin. Greatness evolves. We are working with students who can be molded, shaped, encouraged, cared for, nurtured and dare I say it....loved. Each day we get to make an impact with them. There will be good days. There will be bad days. But with each new day we learn more and more about our students and ways that we can reach them. While yes, we have things like SGO's, PDP's, evaluations, lesson plans, and grade books, each one of those things, in some way, are focused on ensuring that we are being great for our students.
With greatness comes accountability, responsibility, determination, grit, perseverance and a relentless pursuit of making a positive difference in students. It takes work. We have to be willing to look inside ourselves (like the picture above) and decide if we are willing to grow...willing to go the extra mile. We have to spend time building relationships, challenging ourselves and those around us, to make schools great for kids. It begins with us. The path to greatness is not easily traveled. If it was, everyone would take it. Robert Frost said it best when he said he took the road less traveled and it made all the difference. Do you want to be great? The road lies ahead.....
Richard M. Hayzler
A life long educator and current Principal of Pequannock Township High School in NJ, Rich is excited to share his ideas and thoughts about education and how we can change the world for our students and our staff.