It’s February in Michigan but in 2018 that doesn’t mean it’s particularly cold. The sun was shining and the wind was blowing hard enough to knock out our phone lines. The students had finished up their lunches in the all purpose room and had made it outside. Some students were huddling in small groups laughing and talking and others were swinging on the swings or throwing a football around. I was watching them for a second when I remarked to the secretary, I love our kids.
The students are easily the brightest spot of this job. It never ceases to inspire me when I see them learning. My students deal with a tremendous amount of hardship, heartache, family, peer and community drama. Despite this they continue to come to school (mostly :-) ) and put their best foot forward. It amazes me when I see them overcome their personal troubles as they work to get an education. One of the most important things that I learned from them is that my own kids will be okay. If my students can survive and thrive under some of their circumstances my children will be alright if all I’m worried about are D’s and E’s and the occasionally teenage rebellion.
My staff is also remarkable. Everyday they bring the best they have and pour it into our students. By the end of the day they are often frustrated and exhausted but there is always a glow of optimism about them and the hopes for a better day when they come in the next morning. As a small staff each member has to take on larger roles. As more directives from central admin and then myself comes down on them they continue to bear up under the load and work to put our kids first. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they do on a daily basis.
Then there’s my parents,(my student’s parents). Often as educators we get down on them because they aren’t showing their support in ways we may traditionally recognize. However, one of the practices I’ve had in the past is making 5 phone calls a night to the parents on a fairly regular basis. I give them an update on how their child is doing and let them know if they need anything we will help as best we can. It is evident in these short conversations that the parents care about their child’s education and want them to be successful. Our parents might not be as visible as those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds but they love their children just as fiercely
There are many reasons I love being the principal of my building. These are my top three, the students, staff and parents. They inspire me to work hard and strive for my own version of greatness.