On February 8, 2014, I was once again blessed to have gotten to participate in the University of Texas at Austin Principalship Program (UTAPP) Assessment Center. Each February a team of professors, former students of the UTAPP, and invited exemplary practitioners gather to put 20 or so prospective candidates for the program through a day of tasks and demonstrations to assess their readiness to pursue a career as a school principal.
There are several things I LOVE about this day:
- Getting to see/hear bright young educators who want to change the world through service as school principals.
- Having my own thinking and skills challenged by both the practitioners who serve on the assessment team and the prospective candidates themselves.
- Catching up with so many of my former students in the UTAPP and hearing of their successes (and a few failures) in the work of the principalship.
- Rubbing elbows and exchanging ideas with some of the finest veteran principals and principalship professors I know.
- Taking significant collective action in improving the profession of the principalship through serving in this process.
I have seen a LOT of schools over the years, both good and bad. I’ve never seen a school with a strong and student-centered principal at the helm NOT get better (regardless of its current status). The essence of the principalship is centered on LEARNING - pretty nice centerpiece for a career and for service.