It was painfully obvious as I talked with Kindergarten students that they already had an impression of the Principal on the second day of school. I did not even know their names yet. I’ve had no chance to interact with them. Yet, they saw me as the man they don’t want to see. The old stereotypes remained. As long as they were good boys and girls, they wouldn’t be seeing the Principal in his nefarious office.
I should be used to this by now, but it occurred to me that they were taught this ahead of time perhaps by parents, the media, legend, or older siblings. How do I want to be seen by the students?
- As an adult who is always there to help and cares. I may not be able to solve every problem but I know where the resources are. I’m a good listener and while far from perfect, I know school is not easy for many students. I hope a smile and friendly face can help change a day for a student in a bad place. I also show that I care about students by challenging them to think deeply and persevere in their quest for learning and growing skills.
- As a teacher. When a student does make a poor behavioral choice, it gives me the opportunity to teach them a better route to travel. I can also teach students that controlling the center of the chess board from the beginning of the game often leads to victory.
- As a person who loves to learn. In my words and actions, I need to display that I love to read, play with math, research, and use technology to solve problems. I’m not an ogre on the one hand or a playful clown on the other. Our primary pursuit in schools is academic and I need to model how enjoyable learning really is.
I am heartened by the knowledge that most students will have a different impression of me and their future school administrators after a year or two of knowing me.
I have just three bullets up top…can you add to the list?