I made the transition from teacher to administrator in July, 2011, and since then, Iâ€™ve been accumulating lots of lessons along the way.Â Here are my top three:
1. â€śRudeness is when an action doesnâ€™t meet your expectations of how youâ€™d like to be treated.â€ť
Most people have heard the following: â€śTreat people the way you would like to be treatedâ€ť.Â Iâ€™ve discovered, though, that this may not always be appropriate!Â In Spring ISD, the leadership team has been training on the Management by Strengths (MBS) program.Â This program focuses on encouraging staff to become aware of othersâ€™ personalities and how they would like to be treated.Â For example, it had never occurred to me that some of my fellow colleagues actually prefer to not say â€śGood morning!â€ť or â€śHello!â€ť while passing in the hallways.Â (That was quite a revelation!)Â By focusing on how other people prefer to be treated, effective communication increases while interpersonal conflicts decrease.Â This lesson has proven to be extremely valuable to me in all of my various interactions with staff.
2.Â â€śYou donâ€™t need to get a degree in occupational therapy to be a good occupational therapy manager.â€ť
Â When I started overseeing the occupational and physical therapists for Spring ISD, I was incredibly nervous.Â I felt as if I had to run out and study every single thing I could get my hands on in relation to occupational and physical therapy so I could guide the department in the right direction.Â It was terribly agonizing to me to sit in meetings with the department and listen to their concerns and not have answers at the ready.Â After one such meeting, a fellow supervisor said to me the (almost certainly paraphrased) quote above, followed by, â€śYouâ€™re doing what you need to do.Â Youâ€™re listening.â€ť Â Â I am thankful to her for this lesson because it taught me that, in the end, my staff doesnâ€™t expect me to have all of the answers.Â They do, however, expect that I will act on their concerns, and that, I can do!
3.Â Â Â Â â€śWherever you go, you always leave a footprint.â€ť
Who knew the poster in the staff bathroom by my office would be so poignant to me?Â One thing I really hadnâ€™t expected when I took my new position was that I would be treated differently by campus staff.Â While I know that probably is common sense, it hadnâ€™t occurred to me.Â In my mind, Iâ€™m Just Marina; however, with my badge on, Iâ€™m Marina Sabatini, Administrator.Â Marina Sabatini, Administrator, gets very different treatment than Just Marina.Â It became obvious rather quickly in my first month that every interaction with every person â€“ from fellow administrators and teachers to secretaries and custodial staff to even parents – was an opportunity to â€śleave my footprintâ€ť.Â How I am remembered is just as important as what I do.
Do you have any great lessons youâ€™d like to share from your first year as an administrator?Â Iâ€™d love to hear your thoughts!Â Please share your comments below.