I am reading Teach Like a PIRATE by Dave Burgess. In the book, Dave includes a fictional reflection from a student that serves as a vision for how he wants students to feel about his classroom. This inspired me to write a fictional reflection from a teacher that describes the principal I aspire to be.
My principal has a contagious smile, and she is so positive and passionate. However, she is also real–we can talk about concerns and I always feel heard and inspired to think of solutions. When I need her, she is there. All there, she really hears me. I know she is busy, but I never feel her busyness.
She is student-focused and everything comes back to what is best for our students and their learning. She helps me think from their perspective, about what they really need as they progress through elementary school. I love that she challenges my thinking in a way that seems doable.
She helps me recognize my strengths and that gets me excited to learn and try new things. She is always learning through reading books, articles, being connected on Twitter and she shares her learning with me when it matches my goals. I have even started getting connected with other educators on Twitter.
The staff has fun together, there is hardly any complaining because we have great relationships and want to positively support each other. I look forward to coming to school everyday. We collaborate and communicate well, and are even visiting each other’s classrooms to learn from each other. We love to get creative together and dream of things that will get the kids excited about learning. We are a team and we are all leaders in our own way.
Once upon a time, technology in the classroom scared me, but not anymore. My baby-steps are okay. We are moving toward using technology to help us empower students, to allow them to discover, and for them to share their work with authentic audiences.
We use assessment data to direct our teaching, especially in our small group work with students during reading, writing and math instruction. We also customize instruction to exactly what our students need during WIN time (WIN stands for What I Need).
I am ready to try new things with our students to engage and empower them in their learning. I know that my principal will be with me through both the failures and successes. We laugh, enjoy our work and each other, and feel great knowing that we are doing what is best for our students. When we fail, we will get up, brush ourselves off, and learn from our failure to improve.
Students have great relationships too, and they treat each other well because we actively teach character education within our curriculum and we have whole school focuses for character development. Most importantly, we have a joyful and need-satisfying environment for students, staff and our volunteers.
I have even found myself daydreaming about becoming a principal. I never thought I would ever even ponder that idea. She makes being a principal look fun!
This work of fiction will serve as a reminder of who I aspire to be for staff, students and parents at our school. I have my share of failures and I’m a work in progress, but as Dave Burgess says in Teach Like a PIRATE, “When embarking on a journey, choosing the destination is a critical first step.” I am a learner and will continually adjust my aim as I work toward my professional goals.