What are some ways I connect with my school community?
I would NEVER question a leader for not living in their school community. There are many circumstances within our lives that have the potential to prohibit this from happening. Prior to this year, at the end of the day, I left my school community and I went back to my community. These different scenarios certainly provide their own unique set of pros and cons. However, my experience tells me that working in the same community where you live provides a definite set of professional advantages.
For the first time in my five years as a school principal, I am living in the community where I work. And it is amazing. Aside from the fact that my wife and young children definitely enjoy it, there is just so much connecting that happens naturally. And it happens All. The. Time.
I have a much better idea of what everyone is talking about. I'm walking, running, and biking through their neighborhoods. We are eating dinner at the same restaurants. We are standing in line together at the same grocery stores. We are going to the same little league games. They are able to see me as a husband, as a father, as a person. The opportunity for connections is everywhere.