Monday, August 22, 2011

What can we learn from a painter?

My wife paints houses for a living and she needed some help the other day so I joined her and painted the walls and the celing of a garage!  As I painted, I had plently of time to think about what my wife does and what I do as a high school principal.
My wife continually reminds me that when she does an estimate for a customer, when she consults about colors, when she does the painting, and when she leaves her invoice - THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS NUMBER ONE!  I agree with her and I have watched these past few years as her business has grown where she models this kind of behavior!
If a customer wants something changed, or if they aren't quite satisfied, then my wife makes sure they are content.  She feels that it is her job to make sure that the customer gets a freshly painted house and they leave the place cleaner than they found it.  This in turn creates more potential clients for my wife because people will see their job and then they tell others and very quickly they will have new people phone them for an estimate!
As a school leader, my customers, the students, need to be satisfied.  It is my job to ensure that they learn and have the best possible chance of experiencing success in school.  It is the responsibility of my staff to ensure that we are creating learning environments that are supportive and that allow students to have a successful learning experience!  If a student does not have a good expereince, what do we do?  If a student or family is not satisfied, then what do we do for them?  As a school leader, do I even think about referrals and how one happy student can lead future students to my school?  Or do I think about an unsatisfied student, and how that expereince may lead to other potential students choosing a different school?  As I begin a new school year, I am going to approach every student and their experience like they have a learning contract with me and that I need to do whatever I can to ensure they have a successful learning experience.  I also think I need to do more part-time painting jobs with my wife!

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