Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reflections after 2 weeks

Well, I'm closing in on two weeks with students as a building principal. It was been a great two weeks, a tiring two weeks, and an ever learning two weeks. I want to focus on two major learnings I've had in that time.

1. Relationships are oh so important.
   This is so true. I've already had some great conversations with people I was 'warned" about that would cause trouble. I tried to go into the relationship with an open mind and start fresh. We all at times need a fresh start. A change in leadership can be that time when parents, staff, or students get to start new.
   Along with this, positive relationships are great as they are usually returned. I've focused on greeting the students as much as I can. With our building set up, I can greet almost every student in the morning as they enter the building. What a great way to start the day, for both the student and myself. I have given and gotten more hi-fives in the first two weeks, than I ever have before. We've had very few discipline problems and I even have requests if I'll sit by students at lunch (I've made an effort to sit with a group of students while we eat this week)

2. Middle School students need time and directions on how to socialize.
  As I look around the lunch room, I see how important socialization is to students. When a friend approaches carrying a lunch tray, their eyes light up. If that friend passes by to a different table, you can see the disappointment on their face. How in our school can we help students socialize without the traditional "Well it's Middle School so...." Is there a place for helping students get along and teaching acceptance?

I think so, we've spent some quality time teaching about PBIS (positive behavior intervention supports). I believe we've seen gains in the time we've spent so far, but we have a ways to go. That is why I'm trying to build a positive relationship with as many students as I can. I am encouraging our staff to do the same. We need to model the social interaction we expect of them.

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