I will admit I did the most scary and freeing thing professionally in a long time. Here’s what I did-I shared my inner troll with my principal. What is a troll, Seth Godin described it very similar to an internet troll.
My troll has been getting pretty big. On the day of my successful EdCamp, my troll rattled my cage so much that I wasn’t focusing on the success. I had evidence of the success, but my troll wanted to me to focus on some insignificant details.
So what did I admit? I said aloud that I do not have the skills in behavior that another on our staff had. Monroe has blessed with a brilliant behavior interventionist. She knows what to say and do to have students become successful. I was struggling with my role in the system.
What my principal did next is what made it ok. First he did not dismiss my issue, but he didn’t agree with it either. He asked some probing questions for me to assess what I needed. So then we came up with goals for me. He knows me well enough to know that I am goal-oriented so we wrote a plan on the board. Throughout this discussion, he shared some of my strengths. Below is the goals I am working on behaviorally.
Then we went on a home visit with one of our most at-risk families. Mom, TJ and I developed a plan to help her and her children. I left last night feeling accomplished and the troll became mighty tiny that night.
Through this experience, my principal knows my troll and will continue to provide me with professional development I need to continue to be successful. Also, today I approached my colleague with respect, but completely aware of my role and her role in the school.
I continue to watch and learn how my principal handles issues. So: the big take-aways
- A principal creates culture that allows teachers to quiet their trolls.
- Saying aloud my insecurities makes them seem trivial.
- Not trivializing another person’s insecurity shows that you value the person.
- Knowledge makes me feel more powerful.