I have a tendency to think in metaphor. Today, when asked what qualities an effective administrator (i.e., principal) should have, the word seaworthy sprang to mind and lips.

“Seaworthy?” asked the man with the dry erase marker.

“Seaworthy,” I repeated. “A good administrator needs to be even-keeled — he or she needs to keep balanced even when the waters get rough. He [I defaulted to the masculine pronoun at this point because I had a particular male administrator in mind] shouldn’t go off the deep end or get capsized or bogged down in the mire. He needs to have an anchor, a fundamental set of beliefs that center him and hold him steady. He needs to be buoyant. He needs to move forward and to know which winds to choose to steer him — and he needs to be able to navigate by a diverse set of tools, from the niftiest newest data all the way down to simple conversations with his colleagues.”

Sometimes it is fun to be an English teacher.

What qualities do you look for in a terrific administrator?