Friday, September 1, 2006

Back to School

I was going to say "back to the grindstone," but that is only partly true. I spent four days this week in in-services, preparing for the first day of school next Wednesday. After 2 1/2 days with the staff of school 1, I was in tears, feeling like I was next to a nervous breakdown. I haven't slept through the night in a week, and it has been worse this week. The task is so monumental: something like taking the mountain to Mohammed, one pebble at a time.

After 1 day at school 2, today, I am eager and making plans, excited about what I might be able to accomplish today.

So what is the difference? Well, both schools are about 400 students, so it isn't the size. School 1 is largely poverty, has a high homeless population. School 2 is military, has a high population of students whose parents are in Irag and Afghanistan, fighting, with the potential of not coming home. So, demographically, they are different, but both have severe stressors.

I think the real difference, though, is in the principal. Principal 1 is a nice, gentle man, who is totally focused on the job at hand, and who wants us to see what a big job we have, and how hard we will be working to avoid being a school, next year, that is NOT making "adequate yearly progress." Principal 2 is a nice, gentle woman, who is totally focused on the job at hand, and who wants us to be able to "put the wonder back into learning." To that end, she gave us magic wands and bubbles to play with, had music to emphasize the various things we would be doing this year, did a sample science lesson with us (which involved blowing bubbles) to illustrate her point, and wore a football jersey and proclaimed herself as our coach.

What a difference!

2 comments:

Hliza said...

Oh what a noble job you're doing! I don't really know if we have people coming here helping poor schools to prepare for new term or maybe I just never have time to look for it. One day I hope I'll be able to give something to the society. Our world need more people like you.!

Seeker said...

Just as a teacher can help or harm a child's journey on the learning trail, a boss can make or break the employees.