Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A note on principals

Yeah, it's been a while. I know, I know. I've had plenty to blog about, just been lacking in time (and, I suppose, in motivation. It hasn't been the most fun year). I'll get around to it. In the mean time, let me leave you with a note on principals.

Principals are a lot like tornadoes. Most of the time, you don't see them. They go wherever they go and do whatever they do. Then...suddenly....BAM! One blows into your classroom and throws the entire room into chaos. No one knows why they're there. No one's sure why they walked past this classroom and that classroom and walked into yours. They roam around for a few minutes. And, just as suddenly, they're gone, leaving mass confusion in their wake.

A principal will usually observe your class for 5 or 10 minutes, then wander around, talking to the kids. What are you studying? What did you learn how to do yesterday? Why are you doing that? The kids aren't sure what to do. Are they in trouble? Why is she talking to me? To be fair, it's not like the principal is trying to cause confusion. It's just that most kids only talk to a principal when they're in trouble.

It's not much easier on a teacher. Sure, academically I know she's probably there just because she felt the need to drop in on any classroom (it's what they do), but I'm still sweating bullets, thinking this will be the day that someone manages to amputate something with a pair of Fiskars scissors. And then there's the suggestions. Oh, the suggestions. Sometimes they're helpful, but sometimes it would be funny if they weren't made so seriously.

"You know, it would be fun if each student could come up with their own experiment to test" (sure, I bet the district is going to love to pay for all the supplies. And I'm just going to looove grading them for hours and hours). "I noticed your low math block was having problems multiplying. Maybe you could send home some multiplication worksheets they could practice on in their free time?" (they don't even do the homework I give them now, and you want me to give them more?) "Your period 6 class gets distracted when they have to borrow supplies. From now on, they can only borrow supplies from you." (Of course, because borrowing from me every day isn't going to be distracting to me at all)

You have to try the suggestions. Hey, when the boss says try it, you try it. Often, you go crazy trying to make it work until you give up. And then you're ok until the tornado blows through your door again.....

No comments: