Dear Classical Families and Friends,
A great number of parents, students, and colleagues have asked me to describe the transition from being a classroom teacher to becoming the principal of Classical School. Do I miss teaching? How is it going? How do I handle student discipline or parental concerns?
Question: Do I miss teaching?
Answer: My educational career feels like the other chapters in my life. Beginning a new chapter does not diminish the satisfaction found in the previous ones. Teaching students on a daily basis had a specific rhythm and routine, and I do indeed miss the energy of a classroom full of students whom I grew to know well over the course of a school year and shepherd toward specific academic and behavioral goals. However, as a principal, I am equally satisfied to support our staff, students, and families in an administrative manner. Fortunately, I know I will have opportunities from time to time to step in for our teachers and put into practice my dormant teaching skills.
Question: How is it going?
Answer: I think that it is going well – especially due to the strong backing of our talented staff, supportive parents, proactive administrative team, and CCSA Board. During a regular day as a principal, it is common to meet with and speak to a number of teachers, staff, parents, and students about a variety of topics – something very familiar to me as a teacher. While I feel well-suited and well-trained to be Classical School’s principal, much like a beginning teacher, I continue to develop and test new organizational systems. Once these systems are developed and refined to suit my needs, I will feel more agile and adept in my role as principal. Honestly, I feel a bit faster every day.
Question: How do I handle student discipline or parental concerns?
Answer: Having conversations with students, parents, teachers, and staff who have differing perspectives is a necessary component for a successful school environment. I have found that remaining as objective and constructive as possible with every student – no matter how often I interact with him or her – is essential to fostering positive change over time. When parents or staff members come to me with behavioral concerns about a student or group of students, I closely examine the specific situation and work with the students involved to develop a solution. Occasionally parents have brought concerns to me regarding how a particular situation was handled by a staff member. In these cases, I refer the parents to the AASD complaint policy and direct them to email or set up a meeting with the particular staff member
involved. I have found that the majority of the time, this type of direct communication between the parent and the staff member enlightens both parties and a resolution or satisfactory understanding ensues. If the particular parental concern is not resolved, the parent should then contact me to investigate the situation and likely have a meeting with both parties. So far, I have not had to mediate any such meetings.
Thank you to all of the Classical School community who have reached out to me over the past weeks to offer congratulations and well wishes. Please continue to let me know if I can be of service to you and your family.
Principal of Classical School