I have wanted to be a principal for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate to have role models all through my years of schooling, and as recently as last semester who truly influenced my educational decisions along the way.
I have benefitted from my colleagues enormously. They have been open and honest. This honesty has helped me to deal with difficult times along the way, and since I have arrived.
There are a few professional development opportunities which have made a positive impact on me as a leader. The first was my pre-service internship experience with another principal. Her name is Carol Blanchette. She taught me a lot about being compassionate, yet firm. I learned how to manage a building, and honed my people skills. She is a confidente and friend. No question was off-limits, and she let me witness her moments of joy, of frustration, of sadness, and of triumph. Not many people would allow a stranger in their world so completely. She was respectful of my ideas and treated me as a colleague even though I was somewhat naive and made some mistakes. I could not have asked for a better role model, or friend. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the teachers in her building who treated me as a colleague, sought my opinions and shared their struggles. they are kind and gifted individuals who continue to grow despite decades in their respective classrooms.
I have had the opportunity to take training in the "Principles of Learning" as part of my former district. The training helped to focus me as an educator and administrator. It also makes me think deeply about my own beliefs in those roles.
The third professional development opportunity which has been very positive was my participation on a SALT team. In Rhode Island, these teams visit schools and make recommendations regarding areas of weakness, as well as commend individual schools for strengths. It required working 50+ hours with a team of colleagues (principals, teachers, parents, community business people). I learned an incredible amount about looking at classroom and student work during my time as a team member. it was intensive, and I slept for about 18 hours straight the night it was complete, but it revitalized me.