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New Webinar Focuses on Helping Principals Balance Work Home Life

Meeting the demands of a career and home life can be challenging, especially when the job is school administration. Join us as we discuss how demanding responsibilities test new leaders’ ability to unplug from the school world. AACTE will host a free webinar on principal leadership on Wednesday, October 24, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT. Please tune in to attend the Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Balancing Work Home Life webinar, part of a series on principal leadership sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

Topics will include

  • Work life balance
  • Preparing for emergency situations in both worlds
  • Supporting others when in crisis at home and work
  • Creating positive responses to crisis

We are excited to welcome the presenter Aubrey Mathews:

Mathews has worked in the field of education for over 25 years. She served as the director of special education for a large Pre-K-12 international school and as an elementary school principal, student support services coordinator, and general education and special education teacher in the pre-school, elementary school, and middle school levels. Mathews also served as a Peace Corps volunteer. Her professional passions include teacher preparation, productive professional learning communities, co-teaching, research-based reading interventions, culturally responsive curriculum, growth mindset, and positive behavior intervention supports.

“Like most new school administrators, I found striking a healthy work-life balance challenging: I am passionate about my work, striving to create an educational environment where every student reaches their highest potential,” said Mathews. “I am a dedicated mom—my children are the center of my universe.”

Mathews will share the story about the day a crisis at her elementary school converged with learning her own six year-old son was missing from his school.

“On this day, under very strange circumstances, I was forced to prioritize my own child’s needs over the demands of my work. It was automatic. I didn’t even have to think about it—my son needed me,” said Mathews. “This day served as a binary marker in my career and in my life. In the following days, I reflected on this day. My family needed me to be present not just in a crisis, but every day.”

Mathews is now beginning her sixteenth year as a school administrator, and she has found ways to be much more efficient with her time, resulting in a manageable balance.

“I found ways to lean on my assistant principal and the leadership team more, just like I did on this particular day. I became better at distributing responsibility, and I began to set a few realistic goals to focus on,” Mathews said. “I also learned how to leave my “to-do” list at 5:00 p.m. because after 16 years as a school administrator, it will surely still be there in the morning.”

Learn more from Mathews about work life balance during the webinar that will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, October 24. To register, click here.

In the previous webinar of the series, held October 18 (archived in the AACTE Resource Library), “Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Working Together to Improve Preparation,” co-hosts Donna Cooner and Wendy Fothergill shared Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) model for a Principal Institute. The CSU Principal Institute mentors new school leaders in the first three years of the position. The institute supports a recent report by the Wallace Foundation, Improving University Principal Preparation Programs: Five Themes from the Field, indicating there is concern that many university-based programs need curricular redesign and stronger connections to school districts.

Webinars will be recorded and archived for future use in principal preparation classrooms or for professional development of practicing professionals. Mark your calendar for additional upcoming webinars in the series:

Register now

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Wendy Fothergill

Colorado State University

Donna Cooner

Colorado State University