Ideas.For.100 Days Of.School Boy Being.100 Years Old Greetings to the New High School Principal – Here’s Your First Big Headache

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Greetings to the New High School Principal – Here’s Your First Big Headache

When you read any article or book published for school administrators, you can usually tell by the first paragraph whether the person writing is a writer on educational leadership or one who has actually been in the role of principal. Writers usually write wonderful things about how the principal is the “educational leader of the building” and other platitudes that are nearly impossible to put on a calendar and actually accomplish in a concentrated way during any normal school day. This writer presents you with what will be your first headache every year you are the boss – and you can put it on the calendar, and you will spend a lot of concentrated time on it. The people in the “Ivory Tower” did not mention this one in the City School, we assure you. Problems like the one discussed in this article could be why they chose the Ivory Tower and thus had plenty of time to write!

So are you ready? Here’s your first big headache, and it will show up in the first day or two of the new school year. You’ve just returned to your office after being “all over the place” greeting kids, checking on buses, and talking to teachers and staff. It’s about 10am and you sit down to catch your breath and drink the cold coffee you bought at the store at 6am this morning when it was hot.

The secretary comes in and asks if you want the morning announcer – You should say something about positive things and not just sports) – to announce that registration forms are at the counter in the office for students who want a parking pass that they allows them to drive to school and park in the parking lot.

This seems pretty innocuous, doesn’t it? Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! The ad has been published, and you have 203 applications by Friday, the deadline for applications. By the way, there are 35 student parking spaces. Some of the applications are incomplete because a copy of the license, registration and insurance is requested. The secretary goes through all of this and gives you 186 completed applications.

OK, so far so good. Here’s a question – who can park in 35 spaces? Have you thought about the criteria at all? Will it be for seniors only? You wisely ask the secretary how things worked in the past with the previous director. She replies that she has no idea since old Mr. Brown took care of it himself – she just typed the final list. Ok, you’re a pretty bright individual, so you start with the logical thought that seniors get first choice, and that narrows the pool down to 117 applications. Then you feel that since academics are paramount, the cutoff for consideration for a permit will be that each student must have a GPA of 3.2 or better. You have about 77 applications left. What now? Well, perhaps you should look at the level of contribution each student makes to the school as a whole. For example, their service to the school as part of a band, team or other student leadership activity may be considered. All good ideas so far and logically justified. You now have about 53 applications. Until now, this Captain Kuig-like analysis has cost you a lot of time and visibility. You realize you have a school to run, so you simply pick names out of a hat to complete the process (also a defensible approach – a LOTTERY!) and present the final list to the secretary to type and post on the wall outside the house. main office. Well. That wasn’t too bad, you think, what’s next that I have to make some decisions about? You go home that night feeling like you accomplished something.

The next morning, 15 extremely angry parents are waiting for you in the office reception. Several angry parents called, two school board members called, and the superintendent called – subject? Problems with student parking.

Your day is completely taken over by angry parents whose child didn’t get a parking permit. They all leave with the promise that “you haven’t heard the last of me”…and “I’m calling the superintendent and/or board members, etc.” The chief asks you what is all the commotion about? You ask, “What’s the fuss?” “I just made some logical decisions about who gets a permit to park in the lot given the fact that we only have 35 spaces available.” You continue to outline your ironclad logic for coming to this decision, and the manager thanks you and says that he will support you, but that you must make an exception because the son of a board member, Mrs. Cavendish, who goes to technical school and has a day job as a veterinary assistant, needs to drive a considerable distance, etc. Funny Guy/Gal That Supervisor – He/She ends with the comment, “Are we having fun yet?” Other parents claim that their children have jobs, many that are crucial to the family’s financial affairs – and those children could not go to the team if they wanted to because of financial problems. Respected parents of some of your Indian and Pakistani students come next and tell you that their children – all are excellent students and never miss a day of school, they have to work in the family business every day, and they would respectfully ask for a parking space for their child. Two parents are in tears as they tell the sad story of a family illness that requires their child to drive every day for a legitimate purpose. Other school board members call asking for a favor, one of whom is painfully honest at all times, reminding you that they can sway votes and will remember that in the spring when your raise comes up.

What now? You cannot withdraw a published list. Your heart goes out to some of these people, and you even pragmatically think about future raises for a moment or two. Two more days were taken up just to process all the parental concerns, students wanting to see you, calls from your boss and board members, and unsolicited suggestions from various staff members. Another idea that comes to mind and passes quickly is that maybe students who are in their sports season could keep their space until their season is over and then someone else could get the space – but then you notice that there are very few students involved in only one thing. You try to invite other experienced CEOs in the field – they all have a suggestion or two, but they all come from different institutions, with different levels of political capital depending on how long they’ve been on the job. Take good notes, but most of the things they tell you won’t help you today. In the evening, your beloved wife or husband says, “Honey, you wanted this job…”

You decide the list stands, and the rage continues unabated for a week or two. You will see many of these people again. Despite threats of lawsuits, the school’s attorney assures you that anyone can sue anyone else for anything, but the plaintiff in these actions would have no real cause of action and their case would be dismissed – it would take up a lot of your time, that’s all. Being a student of “co-management” – something Machiavelli would have laughed at – you put together a committee of a few teachers, two students, a coach and a parent or two and task them with thinking about next year’s selection criteria.

It’s now about two weeks into the school year and you haven’t had a chance to “vent”. Things seem to be well on their way to being resolved when the secretary reminds you of an irrefutable law of nature – people get older every day. This means that as the school year goes by, every day students celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Therefore, at the end of the year there will be a significantly higher number of licensed drivers than at the beginning of the year. She also reminds you that you were young once too, and that as a senior in high school you probably didn’t want your friends to see you actually riding the bus to and from school. It would be as embarrassing as having to bring a brown bag lunch to school. What do you plan to say to parents who want to know why their child can’t drive to school now that they have their license in November?

By now you may have been thinking about that vacation commercial where they ask the question… Do you want to get away? Maybe you too are looking in the mirror and wondering why you gave up your teaching job and that long summer vacation. Relax, things will get better and it’s only September 20th. There’s still a lot of school left. This was your first headache. You will learn from this. We’re going to stop now and give you some time to process. Many of your headaches this year will arrive unplanned. At least you know this one is coming – at the same time every year. Are we having fun yet?

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