Problem or Annoyance?

At your friendly neighborhood wing place, you have choices of how much heat you want on your food. Most wing spots have cool (hot?) names for their levels, including “burn your bottom”, “sizzlin’ or screamin'”, to “lava, magma, insanity.”

I’m amazed at how they keep these ingredients separated in the kitchen and how seldom it is that orders get accidentally swapped at the window. Our heroes of the hot wings keep it straight somehow, offering a range of choices for your culinary delights.

Your job as a school administrator can sometimes feel like the heat index. But in this context, you don’t get to order what you want; instead you have to figure out which level you’re getting.

Often, school leaders, particularly when they’re new, can mistake a ghost pepper for a pimiento, much to their discomfort. Things happen at the school constantly and as the principal or assistant principal, you are called on to know what’s mild (an inconvenience or an annoyance) and what’s caliente (a real problem that needs immediate attention). The sooner you’re able to distinguish between the heat levels of what happens at your school, the better you’re able to lead and manage your building. However, your discernment likely will come from experience, and much of it will be from originally getting it wrong.

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