Being a School Principal can be Wrought with Danger.

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It Looks Good.  And It's a Danger.There are a lot of good things about being a school administrator. Unfortunately, with the good there must be some bad.

This kind of symmetry makes the world of education go round. First hour and last hour. Teachers and students. Homework and recess. Boys and girls. Math class and recess. Junior high students and detentions. School days and vacation. And the good and the bad.

If this highly organized system breaks down, our schools will be overtaken by mass confusion and total mayhem (alright… more than we have now).

I love the structure of the school day. Everything happens at a certain time.

School starts at 8:00 and dismisses at 3:30. Lunch is the same time every day. The work week is Monday through Friday. Pay day comes once a month whether I need it or not.

Structure and lots of it.

Nothing ever changes, until something goes horribly wrong. Which happens by my estimation about 113 times a day, if it has been a good and unusually peaceful day.

Last week I had one of those days. By late afternoon, things had almost been going too well. It had been almost too easy. It was quiet, maybe a little too quiet.

No crisis. No excitement. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until…

….I felt a sharp pain around my neck. Apparently I was being choked.

A variety of things ran through my mind. Who could it be? So little time and so many suspects. I quickly came up with a lengthy list of possible attackers.

Was it an angry parent? Had I upset a student or possibly a teacher? Someone in the community who was not happy with me? Maybe even the home school mom who keeps emailing me, or a soccer parent, or even the chocolate milk kid who haunts my dreams.

It could be one of a thousand people I had dealt with over the years.

One’s mind races in a time like this. My entire life flashed before me.

The highlights and, as it turns out, a lot of boring parts. If I survived this vicious attack, I really need to turn up the excitement a bit (alright… a lot).

My run as a school administrator was coming to an end in about 90 seconds if I didn’t act quickly.

Then it occurred to me.

I wasn’t being choked. I had just closed the file drawer on my tie. Sad but true. At least no one will ever know.

The moral of this story is I hate ties.

The good is I survived my attacking myself with a file cabinet. The bad is I am an idiot and still a target for about a thousand people (a guesstimate… there may be more).

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17 Responses to “Being a School Principal can be Wrought with Danger.”


  1. diane
    on Feb 20th, 2008
    @ 8:12 am

    Thanks for brightening my morning with an administrator-bashing story (just kidding!)

    Reminds me of the time my husband’s suspenders got caught on the back of his chair and he wrestled said chair to the floor. The contest was a draw. Still makes me laugh to think about it.


  2. Dave Bircher
    on Feb 20th, 2008
    @ 12:06 pm

    I caught my tie nce too, but not that bad. I usually catch my pockets on doorknobs. I also hold my keys on a carribeener (sp.?) hook so I don’t wreck the pockets of my pants (with keys in them). Yes, learning through experience!


  3. stark
    on Feb 23rd, 2008
    @ 8:40 pm

    May I suggest a bow tie?


  4. The PrincipalsPage.com Blog
    on Feb 29th, 2008
    @ 8:18 pm

    Public education has changed in the last 5 years.

    Government has done a good (please feel free to replace good with poor, less than adequate, terrible, dreadful, completely appalling, or pathetic) job at dictating what curriculum schools must teach.


  5. The PrincipalsPage.com Blog
    on Mar 17th, 2008
    @ 6:51 pm

    I have been contemplating (better word than thinking… thanks thesaurus) what it takes to be a good principal or school administrator.

    After much thought, I have concluded that I am lacking in a most important area.

    Principals must have certain tra


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    [...] wear a theme tie. I hate to admit this, but I don’t even own one. Not a single solitary theme tie. I am truly a [...]


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  17. Mr. R.
    on Apr 23rd, 2010
    @ 3:21 am

    Great blog. Reminds me of my principal.

    Notice I didn’t use my full name.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.