Perhaps the most feared words for a kid in school … “go to the principal’s office, young man!” I remember hearing that a few times in my early school life! It shaped me up quickly. I really didn’t like that visit, and was determined to never have to repeat it. Little did I know, one day I would be the principal the students had to go see, but also the one they wanted to see.
I always felt my calling was to help shape and fashion the young lives of the students in my care and to speak good and godly truth into their hearts and minds. Disciplinary visits to my office were simply one of the means by which God would allow this to happen. This opened the door for many meaningful conversations with students, often via impromptu stop-by visits that had nothing to do with discipline.
Many principal’s consider themselves an advocate for the teacher, their mentor, friend, a “shepherd” of sorts, and certainly not their foe. So, here’s a simple thought for the new teacher: be proactive in your work and look for those opportunities to visit your principal to share what you have tried and accomplished in the classroom, areas where you have failed, ideas you have come up with, creativity you have seen in a child, conversations with parents, anticipated phone calls, visits, or complaints from parents, etc.
Having valuable conversations with the principal about issues impacting the classroom will help the teacher plan wisely and become stronger in their craft. This is but one significant way for the new Christian school teacher to grow into his role at the school and in the classroom. Teachers should become the strong gatekeepers of their classrooms and do all they can to help their students achieve the academic and spiritual excellence parents desire in their school.
It shouldn’t take a planned observation visit from the principal to your room for you to find out what you could do differently. Nor should this be the only time you two visit together.
Communication between the principal and teacher is critical to an open, honest, healthy, and Christ-centered working environment. But, don’t think it always needs to come from the principal to the teacher. Make your way down the hallway to his office. If he’s not there, leave a note that you stopped to say “hi” and would love the opportunity to just “talk.” In due time, your principal will come to value the leadership you exercise and initiative you take to become the best teacher you can possibly be.
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