The Secret to Being a Great Principal.


A long long time ago in a school district far far away I was a teacher.Business question

It was so long ago the Evil Spawn wasn’t even around to mock me (I can hardly remember my pre-Evil Spawn life).

As a teacher, I spent a lot of time watching principals interact in their environment (sort of like the monkeys at the zoo… I kid because I care).

Meetings, supervising games, getting yelled at by parents who hated school when they attended, etc.

What I discovered was the secret to being a successful school administrator.

Actually, it’s not really a secret. 

But when you call something a secret, people seem to want to pay you a pretty penny to stand up and explain it (so it’s a secret… and call me).

For this special one-time offer, I’m going to share it for free (I’m an idiot… nothing should be free).

The secret came to me over 10 years ago.

That particular day seemed like any other.

I taught my classes.  Looked forward to lunch.  Waited for practice to begin.

And hung around the office bothering people who actually worked for a living (sorry, secretaries).

On that day, you won’t believe who walked into the office.

The superintendent.

Some of you might be thinking it was mid-morning and he was just showing up for work, but I’m not going there.

I will say it was his 2nd year on the job.

Also, in the office was a high school senior.

When the superintendent walked through and closed the door to his office, the senior turned to a group of us and said “ Who’s the new guy?”.

Again, this was his second year on the job.

And the senior wasn’t kidding.

He had never seen him.

This is both sad and tragic (which is how I like my stories).

At that very moment, I was both doubled over with laughter and the keeper of the secret.

The secret to being a successful school administrator is walking around.

In the hallways.  In classrooms.  At games.

Even around town.

People want to see you.

They assume when you’re out and about, you are working.

They also assume when they don’t see you, you’re not working.

So take a walk.

You don’t want to be the “new guy or girl”.

Especially in your second year.

Even sadder… the district only had 50 employees.  At some point, the two stars of the story probably should have bumped into one another.

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Graduation Math.


You see… math is important.

The amount of noise made by family members during the ceremony algebra-cartoonis inverse to the amount of success the graduate may experience later in life.

The higher the temperature inside the gymnasium/auditorium increases the length of the graduation ceremony.

The number of programs printed equals the number of programs being used as fans during graduation.

The larger number of graduation party invitations sent out increases the odds of the graduate receiving luggage as gifts.

10% of all graduates wish they could remain in high school.  That number only increases with time.

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High School Seniors Are Clueless.


The End.

Actually there is more to this blog than just the title, but there doesn’t have to be. 

If you’ve been around the strange animal (“The Senior”), the title is pretty self-explanatory.Good Luck.  You'll Need It.

Seniors don’t have a clue.

About anything.

This is painfully obvious to just about everyone (especially their parents).

Everyone recognizes this fact, but the Seniors.

They think they have it all figured out.

Actually, they know they have it all figured out (if you don’t believe me, just ask them)

The only thing holding them back are those annoying adults.  Those people who surround them with only one purpose…to tell them what to do and how to act.

Who are “those people”? Teachers, administrators, coaches, mom, dad, and every other old person they’ve encountered since they first stepped foot in kindergarten

All of those people with their annoying advice, experience, and perspective.

Constantly trying to warn them about the challenges life has in store for them.  Trying to alert them that the world is about to smack them upside the head (and Seniors… consider yourself lucky if you only get hit in the head…). Trying to tell them life gets more complicated after high school, not less (sad, but true).

Seniors don’t want to hear it.

They don’t want anymore advice.

They don’t want to hear any more stories about how life used to be “in the good old days”. 

Enough with the guidance.

They want out.

Out of high school.  Out of their houses.  Out of the towns they grew up in (no matter how big that town may be… it’s still too small and there’s nothing to do).

They want sweet sweet freedom.

And they want it 6 months ago.

They want to make their own decisions and be in charge of their own destinies.

As we established earlier, they have all the answers.

What they haven’t figured out (yet) is they don’t know any of the questions.

I feel relatively confident speaking about this phenomenon because I was once a Senior.  Man was I stupid (and by stupid, I mean more stupid than now).

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The High School Seniors Have Graduated. Now It’s Time For Them to Get Out.


Graduation is over. Thank Goodness.

That wild cheering sound that you hear in your head. It’s me.

It’s not that I mind graduation, it’s just that I am out of dress clothes to sweat through.

This is just my opinion, but there is nothing sadder than a broken down school administrator sweating through his tie.

But that’s just me.

There is something about graduation day that brings out the heat and humidity. sunshine

Each year you can count on a number of things. Proud parents and grandparents, students wearing sunglasses, parties, screaming, crying, and me looking like I just ran a marathon.

In the rain.

Wearing a winter coat.

And a stocking cap.

Did I mention it was hot and I was sweaty?

Graduation also draws attention to the fact that there are two distinct types of seniors. Those who loved high school and those that didn’t really care for it.

The students that really enjoyed their high school experiences have the toughest time at graduation.

During the course of their 4 years they liked everything. Their friends, activities, sports, teachers, and sometimes even their principal (alright, this one may be a stretch).

Graduation is a complicated event for them. They are happy, yet a little sad.

It’s time to leave high school, but they aren’t sure they are ready. They tell you how excited they are to be moving on, but part of them wants to stay.

On the other hand, there are students who didn’t enjoy their school experiences.

For whatever reason their time didn’t go as smoothly. In fact, some of them feel like they have been serving a 4 year sentence.

Graduation means they are getting released. And they are happy. Really happy.

At least for now.

High school will look much better to them in about 6 months.

There is one thing that all of these students have in common. The need to get out.

And now.

The ones that loved high school need a little push to get out in the real world. The ones who didn’t enjoy school just need to go.

In both cases, it’s time for a little break.

Time to see what life has in store for them.

Time for me to dry out my clothes.

Time to get ready for another senior class.

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Disclaimer

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.