Thursday, February 5, 2015

Whatever happened to that boy?

A long time ago, in a district far,far away...During my first years as an elementary principal, I encountered a child who I often joked was placed there to help me decide if I really wanted be an administrator.  He was often sent to my office for being physically and verbally aggressive on the playground and disrupted the classroom on a regular basis.  I knew the reputation of this child as the one who had blown his nose on the tie of the previous administrator (something the principal never lived down and often received new ties as gag gifts from our administrative group:).  This child would eventually be placed in an Emotionally Impaired classroom setting, but early on, we just dealt with behaviors as best we could with behavior intervention plans, incentives, and positive and negative consequences. Sound familiar?

I knew this boy's father was incarcerated and he had newly born twin brothers and an older sister, so his mother had her hands full and was rarely (in fact, never) able to make a meeting to discuss his progress.  So, we plodded along as best we could.  One day, he had a meltdown at the end of the day and I could not place him on the bus. So, I called the house and asked that he be picked up.  That wasn't an option due to a lack of vehicle. So, I drove him home myself.  Upon arriving at the house, I asked the boy, "What do we say when someone does something nice for us?" For some reason, I thought it was a teachable moment for good manners.  He then said two words to me, but they weren't "Thank You".  I jumped out of my car to tell the mother just exactly what her son had said to me.  When the door opened, she was holding the twins, he ran past her screaming, and I could see holes in the wall where someone (probably the boy I had just dropped off) had made.  I simply said "Have a good night" and walked back to my car with a whole new perspective.

Sometimes, I think "Whatever happened to that boy who made such ruckus at the school?"  Then I remember that he would now be a young man out on his own.  Did I significantly change his life for the better? No.  Did I help make him college and career ready? Probably not.  Did he help me become a better principal?  Yes, by giving me a new perspective of what some students are dealing with at home.  I'm not sure what impact, if any, I made on that boy, but hopefully, he remembers his elementary school as a kind and safe place where there were teachers and a principal who genuinely cared for him.
photo credit:


"I like to turn things upside down, to watch pictures and situations from another perspective." - Ursus Wehrli

"It's amazing how, over time, a person's perspective can be altered." - Fred Durst

"I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective." - Harvey Mackay

Unsung Hero (3 minutes)


Monday, February 9: Pizza Kit Orders go Home
                                   2-4 Grades iReady computer testing in the morning
Tuesday, February 10: K&1 Grades iReady computer testing in the morning
                                     New Student Lunch with Jon & Denise (both lunches in LMC)
                                     Lock Down Drill 1:15 pm (make up)
                                     Teacher Interviews in office 3:30-6:30 pm
Wednesday, February 11: IEP 8:15 (Casucci)
                                          Founder's Day Dinner at Schoolcraft 5:00 pm
Thursday, February 12: Staff Meeting 8:00 am

Monday, February 16: No School
Tuesday, February 17: No Students Building based PD in morning/District PD in the afternoon
Thursday, February 18: Staff Meeting 8:00 am

Tuesday, February 24: PBS Committee 8:05 am
Wednesday, February 25: Pizza Kit Orders due
Thursday, February 26: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
                                       SOTM Assembly at 3:00 pm (First Things First)
Friday, February 27: Pizza Kits Delivered to School
                                MIRM Kick-off Assembly at 3:00 pm (Camping Theme)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post. We often learn the most from the toughest to connect with.