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Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 2– 2022-23
From the AWSP Board President
Create your Principal Leadership Network (PLN)
Brent Osborn
Principal, Lakeside High, Nine Mile Falls SD
Being a principal and school leader these days is tough!
Our jobs are increasingly more difficult each year. The amount we are asked to do and manage increases each school year and each legislative session. Who do you turn to when you need advice or inspiration? Who do you ask for help? Ideas? Strategies?
If you have not created a Professional Learning Network or PLN, it is time. Here are some tips on creating a PLN:
1. Go beyond your school district. Oftentimes in larger districts, schools are expected to do things a certain way, or stay in lockstep with their sister schools around procedures and programs. Sometimes, it’s helpful to gain an outside perspective. Seek out a principal group or colleagues that are from other school districts – maybe even ones from your athletic leagues. 2. Start by simply asking for advice. Introduce yourself and what school you are from. Then ask a question and how they might be handling it in their school – this breaks the ice. We all like to share ideas: Put yourself out there. 3. Include several school leaders in your network. This job is crazy busy, so having several members ensures you will get some responses to your group email. 4. As you build this network, find a time to get together and meet in person. Come together to discuss the master schedule, math curriculum, student behavior intervention, etc. In doing this, you will strengthen your relationships and create professional relationships that will last.
If you do not already have a network like this, take the time to build it. Consider it an investment in your own well-being.
I have been meeting with my Northeast “A” League principals for 12 years. The first year it was all about athletics. Through the years, it has morphed into an incredible network of collaboration. We meet in person three or four times a year, and we address athletics only in one of our meetings. We discuss course sequences, start-of-school professional development, SEL training, and so much more. Every week one of us emails the group with a question. It is truly a network of collaboration.
If you do not already have a network like this, take the time to build it. Consider it an investment in your own well-being.
Brent Osborn, AWSP Board President, Principal, Lakeside High School, Nine Mile Falls School District