Teaching, Imagination, Discipline

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I'm a mother, a teacher, a playwright, a former academic. I've spent most of my life in and around schools and universities all over the world. Nowadays, among other things, I teach in a high poverty elementary school in Los Angeles.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Principal

Every school has to have one. They're loved. They're hated. They're sometimes ignored. A charter school in New York is working hard to minimize them by choosing to pay its teachers principal salaries and its principal teacher salaries. 125K for the teachers, 90K for the head guy. But minimized or maximized, they're still there walking around the yard, parading through the classrooms, greeting parents.

We're getting a new one. Our old one left suddenly at the end of the summer, which pleased many teachers greatly and saddened a select few. The man (why are they so often men in a profession dominated by women?!) was an indifferent educator and a divisive leader who created cliques better than a high school drama queen. He was, shall we, say [fill in the blank from the movie poster].

The new one seems much better. Professional. Cool. A bit reserved, yet willing to smile. Only time will tell.

How can one person make such a difference in the social fabric of a school? T eachers, parents, students, former students:do you have principal stories to share, good or bad? OMG, dish, puhleeze!

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