October 5, 2012 by Brad Currie
Today will be my last as Vice Principal at Readington Middle School in Whitehouse Station, NJ. I will never forget the many opportunities I had to work with such great educators and what they did for kids each day. Beginning on Monday I start a new journey as Dean of Students and Supervisor of Instruction for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. Over the past few weeks I’ve had many conversations, notes, cards and emails directed my way. The kind words were very humbling and solidified why I do what I do as an educator. A theme kept coming up during these “goodbye” communications and it focused on being approachable. The staff was truly appreciative of my ability to always be available no matter what the situation. They were very thankful for my calm demeanor and ability to treat everyone with respect and dignity. To me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Leaders need to be approachable and humble in order to move their school or buisness forward in a positive direction.
As leaders we must make it our top priority to model approachability no matter the situation, especially when times get tough. Whether its walking down the hallway, visiting a classroom, attending an extracurricular activity or working in the office; leaders must be available at all times. In reality being approachable 24/7 is not always possible and letting people know in an assuring manner that their questions or concerns will be addressed as soon as humanly possible is of utmost importance. The ability for leaders to be human and display empathy is critical as well. Being humble and leaning on people for advice also helps with approachability and providing a sense of calmness for everyone. The bottom line is that the success of students hinges on a leader’s ability to remain positive at all times and make decisions with stakeholders based on the notion of “what’s best for kids.”