(Originally posted on PLC Ponderings.)

By Matt Wachel

When I found out that I was selected to be a part of the #SAVMP and learn with so many wonderfully talented and experienced educators, I was thrilled.  I know I have a great deal to learn and share with others and am encouraged by the opportunity to do so with educators all around the country.

I never really envisioned my career heading into administration.  I loved what I did… kindergarten teacher, building level leadership teams, and district leadership committees.  Why would I leave what I loved doing? A good friend went back to get her degree in administration and asked me to join her so we could have some classes together.  After talking it over with my principal at the time, I thought it might be something nice to have in my back pocket if I ever wanted to move that direction.  But I never really envisioned leaving the classroom.

I then had the opportunity to shadow a few different principals at different levels, principals I highly respected.  After seeing what they did on a daily basis, I knew a change was coming my way.  I saw the passion they had for their teachers, for their children, for their families, and for the schools and I wanted to emulate that passion.  Instead of directly impacting a classroom of 25 kindergartners, I could now impact a school of 400+ children, families and teachers.

I have never really reflected on this question before.  This simple and powerful question has forced me over the past few days to really think about why I do what I do each and every day.  As I reflected on this question, the same reasons kept popping into my mind over and over.

1. The main reason I love the position I am in is because of the relationships.  I am privileged to be a part of many lives day in and day out.  As a leader, I get the chance to work with children, families and teachers in a variety of settings.  I get to know about them personally and professionally and they get to know me, my family and who I am.  I enjoy and look forward to building those relationships.  Those relationships are the foundation for our challenging work.  When I truly know people and they know me, we are more willing to work together for a common goal.

2.  I love the position I am in because I can grow and learn.  Being a school administrator, I get the privilege of being in all different classrooms.  I have the wonderful experience of seeing the best of the best in all grade levels.  This opportunity allows me to grow and develop my craft as an educator.matt-wachel-featured

3.  I love the position I am in because I get to help be an advocate for the children.  There are times when children don’t have a voice.  Every decision I make centers around what is best for the children and teachers. When I keep that the best interest of the children in mind, I know I am making the correct decision, even when people do not like a decision.

What better reasons are there to lead?  I get to form relationships with others.  I get to learn with and from others.  And I can help children be successful.  Why wouldn’t I lead?

I am excited to learn with and from Amber, Amanda and Chris and all of #savmp during this journey!

Matt Wachel is an Elementary Assistant Principal. He shares his insights on his website, PLC Ponderings. Follow Matt on Twitter at @mattwachel.