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Survival Skills for Principals

Friday, Jun. 25, 2010


Our own imaginations are not always sufficient to meeting the demands of our work. How, then, can we bring “the imagination of God” into what we do? That was the question Harold Hoyle put to participants in the Catholic School Principals’ Institute, a program of the Ethics Center and the SCU Department of Education.
Hoyle, a clinical psychologist by training, teaches in the Education, Special Education, and Counseling Psychology programs at Santa Clara. He works frequently with teachers and administrators on issues of self-care and spiritual imagination. 
Hoyle offered four exercises to help participants imaginatively set goals and get the support they need to accomplish them:
I.               First, write down something you would like to accomplish. Now think about how you might revise that goal if you brought the imagination of God to the task.
II.             Be aware of the narratives that give meaning to your life. Write down three stories about yourself and think about how the stories demonstrate your values.
III.           In a study of teachers, the number one factor that prevented burn-out was having a supportive principal. What would you like to do to support the people who work for you?
IV.            How can you get support for yourself?
Hoyle’s presentation concluded the second annual Principals’ Institute. Other SCU faculty on the agenda were the Rev. Anthony Mancuso, visiting scholar at the Ethics Center and a teacher in the Catholic Educational Leadership Program; Marian Stuckey, former superintendent of schools for the Diocese of San Jose and current distinguished lecturer in the Catholic School Leadership Program; and Nicholas Santos, S.J., visiting scholar at the Ethics Center.


Tags: character education