I Didn’t Know How Much I Didn’t Know.

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So Many Questions... So Few Answers.As I move into the twilight of my career (I wish), it has occurred to me that I once was a huge and complete moron.

This is drastically different from today, when I am just a medium and partial moron.

Before my long (okay, short) career as a school administrator, I was a teacher. This is before I took a very secretive oath and moved over to the dark side of administration. I could go into details, but I have been sworn to secrecy.

During my years of teaching, I had the pleasure (not really) of sitting through about 4,000 teacher’s meetings. They were quite productive and I learned a lot (again, this is a little thing I like to call sarcasm).

I realize these meetings are a necessary evil. However, I am unsure who dislikes them more; teachers or administrators?

But that is an argument for another day (and blog… as you see I am banking up material for the slower summer months).

When attending meetings as a teacher, I was impressed by how incredibly smart I was. Or so I thought. I had all the answers. Just ask me.

The decisions being made by administrators seemed so black and white.

I would sit there (half paying attention) and ask myself; how could they be so stupid? How could they make such bad decisions? Why didn’t they make choices that seem so simple to me? Why did they always make everything so difficult?

In a nutshell, why didn’t the administration have a clue?

Honestly, how hard of job could a principal have? In fact, how did they even keep busy throughout the day? You can only walk down the hallway so many times.

So, I was smart and they were stupid. I could easily do their job.

So I did.

Did I mention the part about being a moron?

Here is a small portion of what I learned in my first 17 minutes on the job; I wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought, previous administrators weren’t nearly as clueless as I believed, decisions about students and staff are rarely black and white, and I may be in over my head.

And then the rest of my first day took a turn for the worse. You will be happy to learn that I survived my first day; although barely.

I learned more in the first 4 weeks as a principal than I did in 2 years of classes while getting my Master’s Degree plus 8 years of teaching.

But I did learn an important lesson and that was…

…you should never judge your intelligence by how much you know; you should judge it by how little you know.

And in my case that was a lot.

So if you are considering leaving the classroom to become an administrator, remember this; you can do it because of everything that you know, but don’t be surprised by the immense number of things you will have to learn.

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7 Responses to “I Didn’t Know How Much I Didn’t Know.”


  1. Tim
    on May 8th, 2008
    @ 4:29 pm

    So, the question is, is it worth it? Leaving the classroom I mean.


  2. micsmith
    on May 8th, 2008
    @ 7:24 pm

    You are my new best friend. Suddenly, I have an idea for my next blog. Thanks.


  3. Dave Meister
    on May 8th, 2008
    @ 10:55 pm

    So true….I used to know it all too. I am not sure what hemishere I live in any more…….and I was a social studies teacher….they even made Pluto something other than a planet….go figure….I wonder if I will forget how to breath……cough wheez…cought…I am alright..I am alright….I think?


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