Day in the Life: Principal Elizabeth Alvarez

Note from The Fund Team: While there is no such thing as an “typical day,” for a principal, we did our best to find out what principals do every day to manage the energy of their school. Check out the day in a life of the principal of John C Dore Elementary School, Elizabeth Alvarez.


For many school leaders, the activity never ends. From a whirlwind of meetings to checking in with students, principals are always on the move. We talked with Principal Elizabeth Alvarez of John C Dore Elementary School to get a peek into what her days look like.

Early Welcome

In the mornings, I have a 7:15 morning meeting with staff and I check what substitutes are needed and how the main office is doing to see what concerns there are before we start. Normally, the teachers help with the parent meetings, but sometimes I will be in the meeting too. The children come in at 7:30 in the morning. If it’s nice out, I walk outside with the students from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. If it’s rainy or cold, they are lined up indoors.

Morning Announcements

At 7:45 a.m., I am in the office waiting for our announcers, our children. I get them prepared to do the morning announcements. I add a spiel like “Today is poem in a pocket day. Make sure to have a poem ready in case you see me.” Once the children finish, they are off to class.

Classroom to Classroom

If it is a Tuesday, grade level meetings happen after classes start. If it’s not a grade level meeting, I have team day in the special education room. If it’s a Monday,Thursday or Friday, I am doing an observation, making phone calls or checking e-mails. Observations last about an hour in the classroom and then I try to type up what I can on Reflect and Learn. That is, if I am given that opportunity because often there is another shoe about to drop.

Lunch Time

Then lunch and recess happens. I walk hallways and manage our P.A.W.S. (Positive Attitude Within Schools) program. I attend a meeting during lunch and recess. We also have mentors that will meet during lunch and recess time with students. This coming year, we will see how these new students are doing at Dore with their mentors.

It’s a wrap!

At the end of the day, I get ready for dismissal. I take on the upper grades and make sure our children are safe. At 3 or 4 p.m., if we have detentions, I meet with these students or check in with our after school program and make sure everything is okay. At 3:30 p.m., I try to finish Reflect and Learn when the observations are fresh on my mind. I end my day around 6 or 7  p.m., then I go home.

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