Inside the Trenches of the Principal: Week 30

As this week comes to a close, I think back to the tragedy in Florida on Wednesday (Valentine’s Day) and am angered by another senseless shooting. This anger and despair is nothing new, sadly. In fact, as I looked back over my blog posts over the years, I came across one from June 2015 that I wrote about the shooting in Charleston, SC. In this post, I wrote about the murderer in that situation from the educator’s perspective. About how every killer we hear in the news once sat in one of our seats at school. And as an educator, it’s a numbing thought to think that that could have been one of your students.

I come at this thought from an even deeper perspective now as a principal. As I look each day at my roughly 600 students, there is no way I could ever picture them doing something like this. As I get hugs, handshakes, handmade cards, and presents each day, could one of them truly do something like this in the future? Simply, I pray not. But I also know that I have a responsibility to ensure that those students who show signs of depression, mental illness, or self-inflicting thoughts do get the help they need and we document these experiences. I personally don’t have the answer as to how to fix it, but like I tell my staff, if we each do our small part, we can make a difference.

Of course, this week also had many positive highlights!

I got to accompany a group of my 5th grade students to a Wake Forest University Women’s Basketball game. The students got a chance to sit with members of the Wake Forest women’s soccer team during the game, and it was exciting seeing them using the training we’ve done about making SPECIAL first impressions with these college students.

We had a very excited Morning Rally on Friday at Moore! During Wheel Spin, one of the members of Quantum ended up getting 75 points for his House and putting them into first place. And then, we started a new tradition for the wheel. We had a new student start at my school this week and to induct him into a House, we had him spin the wheel to see what House he would be inducted into. He ended up in my House, Ionracas, but I was even more taken back by how excited the students were to all want this new student in their House. They were cheering and high-fiving and generally just being excited about this young man. Life is about making moments, and I think this new student definitely had a special moment on Friday!

Abe Hege and I also had the official pre-release of our new book, The Limitless School! He and I have been busy planning our book release party for next weekend and for a workshop we’ll be doing in a couple weeks. Having this book finally printed and in people’s hands is a surreal experience (even the second time around), but it’s been valuable for me to reflect upon my own words in the book as I lead Moore Elementary each day and how we can become a #LimitlessSchool.

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