First off I always find our head custodian and check-in, that morning communication is so important and they appreciate touching base!
A quick walk around campus is vital. No matter what type of neighborhood your school is in, there is always a chance for some paraphernalia from the night before. No details here, but I've found some interesting things over the years, many of my Principal friends have similar stories!
Morning drop-off is one of my most favorite times of day. Saying hello and greeting each student as they arrive at school is SO important. Checking out new shoes, someone got a haircut, busted ankle and coming with crutches - another great time/place to check-in with your kids!
However, my most favorite and important ritual of all as Principal is - finding all those little magic moments that happen for kids each day, a capturing them to share with our community!
- 1st grader sharing their Writers Workshop with the class!
- 5th grade #geniushour projects, having a student research chicken nuggets, only to realize they're not really chicken!
- Office Manager doing what they do best, running the school and taking care of all those boo boo's and scraped knees!
- Your Head Custodian making it all seem so effortless, and having such immense pride doing it all!
- Kindergarten students just being stoked about learning, this is the best!
- Teachers having endless excitement about pushing their students, and Tweeting about what's happening for everyone to see!
- Teaching kids about Social Media and how to be responsible.
- Getting to go to school, not 'having' to go to work!
Basically, my ritual of NOT being in my office during the day and engaging with the school community is my favorite. If you're in your office, processing purchase orders, 'handling' discipline, working on the color of a spreadsheet column, answering emails - then you're totally missing out and in my opinion not really leading your school.
Have awesome be your ritual and find all those magic moments on campus!
A good friend of mine Rachael Peck shares her favorite ritual below! - Elementary Principal in Roseville, CA
As a principal I love connecting with kids.
I always start with the simple thing of being out in the morning and greeting kids with hugs and high fives. The first positive connection of the day goes a long way. It shows the kids that no matter what kind of night or morning they had, I am here for them and I am happy they are at school.
I care about each and every one of them. I also make it a point to get out and play at recess. It's not always the same thing; sometimes it's kickball, tetherball, four square or basketball. The important thing is I'm playing. The kids light up and look forward to me being there. We laugh, we have fun, and they see that adults can play too!
It's also a chance for me to facilitate problem solving on the playground because I am right in the mix of it. Selfishly, it's a chance for me to have fun, relax and relieve some stress from the day!
What's your daily ritual?