I love my job. I am an assistant principal of a middle school in North Carolina. There isn’t a moment in my day that I am not; doing something, thinking about what else I need to be doing, or stressing about things that I have yet to do.

Below is a typical day (there is no such thing) in my school. Each day looks different, but on average, this is what I do an a daily basis and why I do it.

7:00 Arrive at school. During this time I say hello to office staff, check emails to make sure there aren’t any pressing tasks, and check voicemail from the night before.

7:30 Greet buses. I think it is very important to welcome the students to school each morning with a smile. I’m a morning person, so I like seeing tired middle school students stumble off the bus in the morning.

8:00 Make announcements. This is my opportunity to practice my improv skills. I have a rough outline of what I’m going to say, but usually I start my sentences without knowing how I’m going to end them. My favorite is making up a sentence on the spot for the word of the day. Only once this year did I not know how to use a word. This was a great teaching opportunity to show students that I am still growing and learning.

8:05 – 9:00 Make rounds. I try to step into as many classrooms as possible. Once again, being visible is extremely important. It is a good idea to see what classes have subs and if the teachers need anything.

9:00 – 11:45 Office time. This is when I get the majority of my office work done. Usually I sit down with my principal and plan out the day and talk about any major issues that need to be addressed. This is my chance to call parents, handle discipline, and do paperwork. As a teacher, I often didn’t think about all the behind the scenes work that goes into something as simple as an awards ceremony. In order to successfully pull off a one hour awards ceremony to celebrate students who made honor roll, the following must happen: compile list of students who made honor roll, get list to teachers, create a schedule that shifts class periods, communicate with cafeteria staff to move lunch times, find placement and supervision for students who aren’t invited, and lastly, order 282 ice cream sandwiches.

11:45 – 1:40 Lunch and recess duty. Once again, being visible is one of the most important roles of an administrator. Discipline rates have plummeted since my principal and I made it a point to be at lunch and recess every day. I’m the type of leader that will not ask others to do something that I am not willing to do myself. Lead by example.

1:40 – 2:40 Last minute stuff. During this time I get bus passes to students, deliver positive referrals, and handle discipline referrals from earlier in the day or lunch (yes even with supervision, some middle schoolers will break rules at lunch).

2:40 – 2:55 Bus lot. Every day I get out to the bus lot to talk with bus drivers. I recommend that you take the time to make sure they are supported too. Also make sure students are on the correct bus and once again provide supervision to all. I really like being the first and last person that our students see on campus.

3:10 – 5:30 (or later) Everything else. Walk the building; stop by classrooms to check in with teachers. Various meetings: whole staff, PBIS, PTO, Leadership, Technology or any other variety. Finish projects that didn’t get done during the school day.

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