Written by Alejandra Barbosa, PIC Executive Director
Fall is here! If you are like me, you are enjoying the changing leaves and season, getting excited for the coziness of the fall and upcoming holiday season. And while many parts of our life are still chaotic and unpredictable, I cannot help but be grateful for what October also means to us at PIC. October is Principal Appreciation Month! During this past month, I have been able to reflect on all of the wonderful principals that we have been humbled to serve over the last four years and I would love to take this moment to share our appreciation for those 66+ leaders.
I appreciate all school leaders who are making personal sacrifices to be on campus and leading their schools through this unprecedented pandemic. Their courage and selflessness are heroic and I know our communities are stronger for their commitment.
I appreciate all the new school leaders I met this fall, who despite the pandemic, stepped up into an unknown role as a first-time principal. The job of a principal is hands down one of the most complex leadership roles in any given year. However, these leaders demonstrated stronger commitment to servant leadership and took on a new challenge, despite the already heavy challenge of living through pandemic.
I appreciate the principal from our inaugural cohort, who gave me generous feedback about how to redesign the program curriculum we were piloting, so that we could revamp our program experience to better serve school leaders.
I appreciate the principal who in our sessions, always pauses to give thoughtful, challenging, yet supportive feedback, because she wants her peers to grow and be even more effective leaders.
I appreciate the principal, who despite her own heavy workload and leadership responsibilities, showed up at a PIC session with beautiful homemade desserts and treats because she wanted to demonstrate her appreciation for her peers in the cohort.
I appreciate the school leader who shared incredibly personal childhood experiences, so that his cohort would know why he leads with certain values, demonstrating to his peers that strong leadership is courageous and vulnerable.
I appreciate the numerous school leadership teams who have hosted us for site visits, opening up their campuses and donating their time, so that our cohort participants could learn from their effective strategies, while also being vulnerable about areas for growth.
I appreciate the principal who always gave a firm hug and smile to her cohort members, lighting up the room for others, even when she may not have been feeling like her best self.
I appreciate the principal who pushed her peers to stick with the program, even when it felt like extra work, because she knew that the work was worth the growth they would all see in their leadership growth and on their campus impact.
I appreciate the veteran principal, who when she saw a more junior principal struggling, pulled her aside and gave her focused coaching on how to lead her school and guide her leadership team.
I appreciate the principal who was always willing to be the first to role play, so that his peers could learn from his mistakes and build from them to improve their own leadership.
I have countless moments which inspired my appreciation for school leaders, in particular our PIC Principals. Over the past four years, I have observed leaders who are committed authentic, and passionate about serving students. The role of a principal is increasingly complex, but I appreciate the humanity and candor that our leaders bring to the role. At the end of the day, their humanity is what lights up a child’s day, or what keeps a teacher motivated to persevere through all the challenges they are facing.
To each of our PIC principals, we at PIC are grateful for you, we see you, and we look forward to seeing the amazing work you will continue to do for your schools and communities.