Monday, August 27, 2012

My first two weeks as an Asst. Principal!

Seeing that it has been nearly two weeks since my last post, you can see how my first two weeks have gone!  I have been really busy with late nights and fast food drive-thru menus, but it's been great!  I wasn't really sure how I wanted to type up this post, but I know several of your are following me on my journey in pursuit of your own admin. career or just as a teacher looking through a different lens.  I thought I would do a pro/con list that could go on and on forever!

1.  Going into every classroom to read!  I wanted to get to know the 600+ students in my building, so I thought I'd start with a read aloud and introducing myself.  Although this took nearly an entire week to get to every classroom, I have to say it was time well spent.  Here are the books I read.
Kindergarten & 1st Grade                         2nd and 3rd Grade                                4th and 5th Grade

If you have not read The Junkyard Wonders, it is a MUST READ for you and your students this year.  pre-read it, though, because there will be a part that gets to you!  Promise!

The best part of this were the emails that I received from teachers afterward about my lesson.  Here is the one that made it worth it for me:

"I had my class write letters to their parents for Parent night tonight. As I'm going through them I noticed that most of my class "named" our classroom. They started these letters after you came in on Monday and read to them. Most of the class named our room "the fishbowl" (which I thought was very appropriate!). I did find it very sweet that one of my new students named our classroom "the junkyard." At the end of her letter she tells her parents "P.S. The Junkyard means full of different kinds of kids that are all special in their own way."

2. I'm one of the first faces they see when they get off of the bus.  I thought that bus duty would get old, but seeing those smiles ready to come in the building is so great!  I know that my reactions to them set the tone for the rest of their day.  What a great feeling to do this!

3. Kindergartners on the first day of school!  I've never really experienced the "pulling a child from their nervous, worried, scared to death parent" but it was actually good.  Although it was hard in the moment, making the phone call to mom or dad later in the day to reassure them that their child was eating next to their new friends and playing at recess with others was really fun.

4. I get to check in with students and be an extra motivator for students.  Compliments from the "office" go a long way for them and it never gets old for me.

5.  I am learning a range of things everyday.  This is everything from the need for a picture menu for our ENL students to retooling our dismissal procedures for safety to seeing how great my teachers are in action!  Going in and out of these various items keeps me on my toes but has increased my learning exponentially.

6. Flowers from some great friends on my first day of school saying how much they miss me, but how great I'll be in my new role.

1. Not having my "own" students.  I'll be honest, this has been really hard.  So much of what I have worked for in my life is to learn about education so that I can welcome a class on the first day of school and guide, motivate, and lead them to new learning for the next 180 days.  This has been a definite adjustment, and I may have shed some tears a few times about it.

2. Not knowing silly procedural things...such as how car riders work, how to do announcements, etc.  This sounds so minute, but when you have to ask questions all day long because you don't know how certain things work, it will make you feel incompetent at times.  I know it's a part of the process, knowing a new school, etc. but it's hard to swallow everyday when you are supposed to be guiding this staff.

3. The long hours at the beginning.  With three nights for meet the teacher night, a PTO executive committee meeting that went until 11pm, and an online virtual class on Wednesday nights, I have been tired exhausted!  The hubs has really stepped up, though, and made dinner, took care the washer that broke, and kept me together too!

4. Missing the "easiness" of my old building.  I knew everyone, a lot of the families, all of the procedures, and had that comfortable feel.

5. Nothing to wear for Sprit Day tomorrow!  I need to add to my repertoire of school spirit wear! :)

Well, thanks for reading all of my thoughts.  I'm out for the night!



4321Teach said...

I left the classroom and became an instructional coach. Different roles, but almost the exact same feelings and experiences. Reading your post felt as if it was almost written by me. lol

I am learning so many new things and have to ask so many questions. I work with really great people, but miss my old building so much. I also had such a difficult time on back to school night and the first day. I taught in a classroom for 13 years. It has been quite an adjustment.

I love Patricia Polacco and am looking forward to reading the Junkyard Wonders.

Good luck this year. :)

Barbara said...

Great post, Mary Beth! I have my masters and have occasionally thought of going into admin but I know I wouldn't be happy with all the meetings and not having my own class. Best wishes with your exciting new venture!

Grade ONEderful
Ruby Slippers

Amanda said...

Wow, what an adventure! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to reading more.

The Teaching Thief

KRISTA said...

Hi Mary Beth! It sounds like you are having a tremendous year! I teach 3rd grade and LOVE to share the book Junkyard Wonders with my class. I am a new follower! Stop by if you get a chance sometime.


K is for Kinderrific said...

What a great post!!! Just from reading your comments I can tell you really care about your students.....I bet you'll be a great administrator! We need more admins with hearts like yours! I hope you have a great year!!!

K is for Kinderrific