Christmas is Coming.


I’m guessing at least one staff member in your school has already begun the Christmas vacation countdown.

 

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As Educators, Shouldn’t We Be Counting Down to the First Day of School?


No matter where you go, schools have a lot in common.

Each one has bulletin boards covered with faded construction paper, a colored pencil or crayon laying in the hallway, copiers that are jammed, horseplay in the restrooms, and at least one staff member who can tell you the exact days, hours, minutes and seconds until the end of the school year.

Generally, they start the official countdown right after Christmas.

This holds true, unless the staff member is having a bad year. Then they start at Halloween.

Really bad year, Labor Day.

The best part is that you never have to ask them about the countdown. They tell you as they walk by in the hallway.

I can remember doing this. My system was slightly more low-key. Let the Countdown Begin!

I checked off the days on a school calendar that was taped inside my grade book.

Do teachers still have grade books? And if so, why? But, I digress. Again.

Checking off the days gave me a sense of accomplishment. At the time, I thought keeping track made the year go by faster.

It was even more special when I forgot to do this for a few days. Then I got to put X’s through 3 or 4 days at once.

Weekends were an added bonus.

I felt like I had just won a prize. The more X’s the better.

But the X’s always had to be in the same color. In retrospect, I have come to realize that I might have some control issues… or a disorder.

Hard to tell. But in my youth, chewing on paint chips was probably not the best plan.

Checking off the days probably made the end of school go slower.

Now that I work (and remember everyone’s definition of work is different, so don’t judge) 12 months a year, I never worry about the end of school.

It doesn’t even cross my mind. Maybe that is because I am so focused on the job at hand.

I am locked in. Totally immersed in the job. Giving it 110%.

Or more likely my memory is getting so fuzzy that I just forget to do it (i.e.: paint chips)

Just as soon as this school year ends, it will be time to start the next one.

At this stage of my career, I am not a counter. My life is passing fast enough… kind of like the huge bowl of chip dip intended for a staff luncheon that is gone by 9:30 in the lounge. (I can’t make this stuff up.)

No need in wishing my life away.

Plus, if I really need to know how many days are left, I can just walk down the hall.

At my school, or your school. Or any school.

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My Days as the Main Man Are Numbered.


Let the Countdown Begin...For some mysterious reason, there seems to be more interest in my blog when I write about my family than when I write about educational issues.

I do my best to write different types of blogs in the hope that I can keep all 12 readers interested (yes, the PrincipalsPage.com Blog continues to grow by 2 or 3 people a year).

My writing style seems to make “editor” types nervous (and by style I mean… actually, I have no idea what I mean because I have no idea what I am doing).

They tell me that the posts for PrincipalsPage.com Blog are “all over the place.” One is about my distaste for soccer, another about New Year’s resolutions, then it’s about NCLB, and finally I am giving advice to new principals (unwanted and unasked for advice….but advice none the less).

This blog seems to confuse people with English degrees. I think they would understand it better if they didn’t spend so much time reading books.

While they are confused, the truth is…so am I (maybe I need to read more books… or any books for that matter).

But that’s okay because total confusion is all part of life in education. When you work in a school and you are trying to help raise hundreds of kids, life can get hectic.

But, it’s manageable.

Just as long as you take the job seriously, but not yourself.

Just when I think my life couldn’t get any more hectic, my wife schedules 87 more workshops, my daughter wants to invite 34 girls to her birthday party (bowling… what could possibly go wrong??), and I find myself cruising the internet late at night for cute puppies (this is not a metaphor… my daughter is getting a dog… or I am, time will tell).

Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. Lots of families are busier than we are.

They just don’t have a blog to complain about it.

It has taken me 13 paragraphs to get to my point of this blog (maybe the “editor” types are actually on to something).

Lately, I have been busy. So when my daughter told me I was going to spend a Saturday night taking her to a Daddy-Daughter “Main Man” Dance, I did what every clear thinking father would do.

I lied.

Said I was busy. She said I wasn’t.

I said I couldn’t go because I would have the flu that night. She said I was going.

I said I wouldn’t because I am not her real father. She said that since she looks just like me, I was her father and we were going.

My wife didn’t say anything. She was too busy planning her free Saturday night without either of us.

So I gave in and decided to go. I really didn’t have a choice since she had already picked out my suit and tie (black suit, silver tie… I was a vision of handsomeness…).

When we arrived at the dance, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t that bad. Plus as an added bonus, lots of dads looked far more miserable than I did.

We had dinner, desert, and danced.

Slow danced, not fast (I have the rhythm of a middle-aged white guy… actually, it isn’t that good).

As we danced she thanked me for taking her.

If I was sentimental, this would have warmed my heart.

As we concluded the last slow dance, she started to cry. I asked her what was wrong but she wouldn’t tell me.

I chalked it up to a little girl being tired after a long day.

As we headed home, she finally told me what was making her sad.

She thought the dance went by too fast. She said she wanted to spend more time with her “Main Man”.

I am still not sentimental, but that was nice. Very nice.

Now I have a feeling that in the not so distant future, I will be the one thinking that things have gone by way too fast.

And I will be wishing I was still her main man.

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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.