Inside the Trenches of the Principal: Week 41

I found out that if my principal gig doesn’t work out, I’m going to enter the grilling world. Not that I’m a great griller, but I really enjoy it. I got to spend a few hours on Friday grilling for my staff to wrap up Teacher Appreciation Week. It was a beautiful day and my assistant principal and I threw burgers, hot dogs, and chicken onto the grill and got coverage for our teachers to have duty free lunch outside. My teachers work so hard, and I ask so much of them, so I wanted to make sure there was some way to thank them for everything they do.

I spent the first part of the week in Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NCI) training. I had gone through this training over eight years ago when I taught in Charlotte, so it has definitely been a while, but it was an outstanding course. Yes, you do learn restraints for extreme situations, but the more intriguing part for me was the verbal de-escalation training, which truly makes you reflect upon your approach with children and how to approach contentious situations. It can be easy to let emotions drive decision-making or reactions to situations where the students are being irrational, and this training provided good techniques to make sound decisions in those situations.

Several puzzle pieces were able to get filled this week for next year as I was able to hire a magnet coordinator and instructional facilitator, two key leadership positions in the school, plus two amazing teachers for first and fourth grade. I also received the first shipment of resources for our new multiple intelligenes lab for next year. While there is still much to be done for this year, it’s impossible not to get excited for what’s to come next year.

We also had our Fashion Show to model next year’s dress code changes. One of my kindergarten teachers organized the show and we had a huge turnout by parents as our scholars showed off their fashions. We showed that while there are standard items that need to be worn during the week, we are encouraging the individualization and fun that can be accessorized in celebration of the Houses.

Someone asked me the other day if I was stressed with all of the things that have to be done over the next few weeks, and I honestly replied “no.” I love pressure situations, plus I have a great team of teachers and leaders around my school who will make sure that we get done what we need to get done.

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