Interview With Dr. Sharon Porter:National presenter, podcast host, Educational Leadership Coach, CEO of PerfectTime SHP and Author
In Today’s episode we talked with National presenter, podcast host, Educational Leadership Coach, CEO of PerfectTime SHP and Author Dr. Sharon Porter, Dr. Porter is the author or co author of at least 1/2 dozen books. We discuss her newest one, Next in line to lead: The Voice Of The Assistant Principal. We get into the inspiration for that book a bit later in the conversation but before we do so. We get into her educational journey.
Summary of Dr. Porter’s Educational Journey:
She had an amazing fourth grade teacher and decided to become a teacher because of that fourth grade teacher. That teacher instilled love of teaching and the love of education. While Dr. Porter was a teacher she observed individuals around her and listened to the bios of individual and presenters that would come to the school.
What intrigued her was that they held so many positions. As she contemplated moving from assistant principal to principal she wanted to be able to have as many different positions under her belt as she could so she could have a more global perspective.
As an assistant principal she wasn’t sure she could do the job. Once she held two different central office jobs however one in which she was a regional instructional specialist her mind changed. It was this job where she assisted principals and the superintendent with principal issues, that she realized she could do the job of principal.
Her biggest challenge in the role of principal was dealing with the politics of the position. It really depended on where she was and what was going on in the community. If it was an incorporated town, if it had a mayor or town council. In her school district it really varied. So the struggle for her, especially as a new principal, was trying to make sure all the stakeholders were involved. She overcame the challenge of the politics by really focusing in on her communication skills and being transparent. She also made sure to include all stakeholders.
Advice for new principals:
Make sure you extend yourself and learn all that you can. All that learning isn’t going to come from your building. Be the aggressor and extend yourself to other mentors, other coaches, and other places. Build the relationship with stakeholders and the community it enables you to go so much further.
Her Plan for including the stakeholders include:
A monthly chat with the principal
An executive meeting with PTA
Plan exactly what rolling out for each particular group
Have consistent structure
Make sure all the players are involved. Dr. Sharon Porter
Don’t do anything in isolation include those stakeholders. Dr. Sharon Porter
You want to be inclusive and make sure all stakeholders are at the table. Dr. Sharon Porter
We are the leader of the school but not the only investor in the school. Dr. Sharon Porter
The children, the students, our scholars are our first priority. Dr. Sharon Porter
All decisions made in the best interest of our scholars Dr. Sharon Porter
Relationships are key. Dr. Sharon Porter
There is nothing that is going to prepare you ( for the principalship) until you get there. Dr. Sharon Porter
Words of Wisdom:
If you’re a high school principal you definitely want to have that student voice as part of decisions because they really bring to the table an insight that maybe you don’t have.
As a school leader you must build and maintain positive relationships.
It does not matter how many programs you have, in a school district or outside a school district. [when it comes to preparing assistant principals] What matters is that day to day mentoring and coaching that’s provided by that principal.
There is nothing that is going to prepare you ( for the principalship) until you get there.
When the principal sits down and really takes the time to be a mentor to be a coach that’s where you see the progress in the assistant principal.
Advice for Introverted Principals:
Make sure to plan and be detailed
Take energy breaks
Have alone time to recharge
About her book:
The inspiration for her book Next in line to lead: The Voice Of The Assistant Principal originated with her dissertation. She was looking to answer the question of how assistant principals, across the country, were being prepared to lead. Within the book are phenomenal stories of assistant principals and the journeys they’ve been on to take the next leadership step.
Her greatest take away from the stories she collected was the importance of the principal in preparing the assistant principal for the job.
Books she recommends:
The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Leverage Leadership: A Practical Guide To Building Exceptional Schools by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo
Good to Great By James Collins
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......