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Virginia Journal of Education


Ten Minutes With...

Julia Britt


Position:
Assistant Principal, Prince Edward County Middle School
Local Association:  Prince Edward Education Association
Years worked in education: 13

What is a typical school day like for you?
There are no typical days for a school administrator! Every day brings challenges and rewards. My number one priority is the safety and the security of our students and staff. After everyone is secure, we can go about the business of education, including classroom observations, data collection and analysis, teacher support and, of course, student conferences and discipline. I start my day by monitoring incoming students and monitoring the breakfast area in the cafeteria. As students go to their designated areas, I monitor the hallways and make sure all substitute teachers are in and ready to get to work. After all of the students are in classrooms, I do a sweep of the building, often waving and saying hello to teachers and classes. Throughout the morning, I either attend meetings or do classroom observations. I believe in being in the classrooms. As the day moves on, I have to be a visible presence in the lunch room for all four lunch shifts. I help monitor the lunch lines, take time to chat with students, or hear teacher concerns as everyone moves to and from lunch. After lunch, I try once again to get into classrooms, monitor the hallways, or take time to organize and analyze student achievement data. As the afternoon and meetings move on, I take bus duty by being at the crosswalk and the front of the bus waves to once again be a visible presence for our students and staff. Once all of the bus waves have run and all of the students are gone, I once again revisit the data, make parent contacts, or attend meetings, as needed.

What do you like about your job?
I love working with students of this age group! I also have a real interest in best practices and instructional strategies, so I love to work with teachers in their endeavors to increase student achievement. I love that every day is different and with it brings new challenges and opportunities to grow as an educator. I absolutely enjoy not being confined to one classroom, but I am able to enjoy many classrooms and observe many different teaching styles.

What is hard about your job?
Making the right choices for children is not always an easy task. Having the courage to make decisions that are in line with policy, finance, and law which are in the best interest of children may not always be popular, but a necessity of the school administrator.

What are some of the most fun and unusual things that have happened on the job?
Last year I was a human sundae! Students who passed all four benchmark tests were eligible for a drawing to administer all the toppings for an ice cream sundae to the top of my head! It was quite a sticky situation, but the student audience loved it.  I was also recently published in Principal magazine after writing an article focusing on teacher-student relationships. A former student of mine helped me to write it and his struggles in middle school are the introduction to the article.

How has being an Association member been helpful to you?
I know that I can always reach out to the association and receive the guidance I need in a timely matter. I also enjoy the legislative issues and information provided by the VEA, along with the resources and information that encourage teachers to be better at what they do. I often reference VEA Journal articles and resources to teachers and other educators.

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