Why Being a Principal is the Best Job Around

I love what I do. I have been in education for almost 31 years. I have had teaching jobs, assistant principal jobs and now a principal’s job. I have been a football, baseball and track coach. I have been lucky enough to work at ten different schools, all with very different socio-economic backgrounds and cultures. And I have loved every position I have ever held. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times when I wanted to pull out my own hair. There have been angry parents, angry teachers, angry students. Even after all of that, I still feel that I have the best job in the world. Here’s why.

Interactions with Students

At the heart of what we do is our relationships and interactions with students. Period. This is my litmus test, my “I know it’s time to go” test. When I no longer enjoy my day to day interactions with kids, when I no longer look forward to these relationships, I know it is time to go. After 31 years, I still cherish the moments when I make a meaningful connection with a kid. Each year I have Principals Advisory Committee. These are students who I meet with each month and ask some questions and get their feedback and input. These kids have a fantastic perspective that opens my eyes every time we met. They care about the school and want it to be a great place. These types of relationships and interactions make this the best job in the world.

Relations with Staff

At Tomahawk Creek Middle School, we are very open about the fact that we are family. We treat each other like family. We take care of each other, we support each other when needed, and if you have an issue, help is never far away. I am fortunate because, while I am the “leader”, I count every one of my staff members as friends. Now, we are like any other family. We have our issues, we have our disagreements. But at the end of the day, we know we are all in this together, We understand that we have each others back. The relationships that we have established with each other make this the best job in the world.

Making a Difference

I knew going in that I was never going to be rich being an educator. I knew that I was never going to live in the biggest house or drive the fanciest car. While there are times I wish I did, I also know that I would never trade the experiences I have had, the kids and teachers I think I have helped, for any material item. I have been the recipient of more thank you’s and hugs than I can possibly count. The idea that I have had a hand in helping a kid reach their potential, get back on track or find their particular skill or passion is an absolutely priceless gift, one that I am so thankful to have experienced. I would not trade that for a mansion and 10 Porsches. Those experiences are why this is the best job in the world.

Watching Young People Grow

Being in a middle school is a unique experience…in every sense of the word. But as much as they drive me crazy some days, I love watching them move from year to year, growing, learning, finding out what their passions are. Seeing the changes in students from shy quiet “elementary” kids when they walk in the doors to ready for high school kids three years later is an awesome transformation. It really is a rewarding experience. Another reason why this is the best job in the world.

So, what makes this job the best in the world for you? Leave me a message and let me know.

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About drellena

Principal of Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. President of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.
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