Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Principals are people, too.

As I sit in a condo in Myrtle Beach today, watching my daughter and her friends fix their hair and makeup for a dance competition, I realize that I am just a normal person who is a principal.  Now I always felt that way, but some things just bring the realization into more clarity.  Being a dad at a dance competition is one of those things.  So are mowing the lawn, snow blowing the driveway, grocery shopping, and going on vacation.  It's at these times that we are most human to our students and parents because they see us in a different way than when we are at school.  My wife and friends joke about how long it will take until I see a current or former student.  I was given a hat by our real estate agent that just says "NEIGHBOR" on it that I wear to subdivision parties.  And you know what?  I think it's great that students and parents see me as just a regular person.
What do regular people do?  They do great things for and with each other.  They take risks and fail.  They take risks and succeed.  They agree.  They disagree.  They come together.  They ask questions.  They determine next steps.  When regular people have a focus, like what is best for a school, imagine what can happen.  So is it bad for me to be just a regular person?  I think it's the best thing for our kids and our school.

The idea for this post came from my Voxer family.  Here are some of their posts.
Jessica Johnson
Melinda Miller
Curt Rees
Joe Sanfelippo
Tony Sinanis
Amber Teamann
Leah Whitford
Tom Whitford
Tim Lauer


  1. BOOM! You nailed it Jay! Couldn't agree more and I hope more people start to see it what way. Thanks for helping me to get off Admin Island and attempt to be a regular guy. Thanks for sharing brother!

  2. A long time ago when my children were small and I was navigating teaching and parenting in the same system, a parent said to me, "Don't worry about being a parent and teacher, the children see you as a mom." That comment has always comforted me as I played a dual role in my school system. Then today, I read a great blogpost about intimacy and leadership which I think pertains to your words today: http://www.strategicmonk.com/2014/07/01/leadership-intimate-relationship/
    Thank you for sharing your honest, intimate perspective.

  3. Thanks for sharing Jay. I believe that it is when principals try to be more than "people" that walls go up and relationships suffer. I laugh with my staff, cry with my staff, joke with my staff, but most of all, share a passion for leading students to learning with my staff! I tell my staff all the time that we are "people" first...parents, sons, daughters...and that we must handle our "people" relationships in order to be effective teachers/principals.

  4. Yep. That is it...I always start my day feeling like a regular person....and then stuff happens...crazy stuff and I have to try really hard to remember it is just a crazy moment and I am still a regular person - albeit in a crazy situation. I DO love what we do,,,kids, learning, growing....all good stuff!

  5. Nothing like picking out some donuts at the store on Saturday morning, not shaved, grubby t-shirt, and a 5ker come up to me and says, "Do you like jelly donuts Mr. Budisch?" Just that big smile, without some teeth-can't get better than that. No judging, no politics, just the moment. Ain't it great being a regular guy! Thanks Jay!