When she pulled up, I immediately went to her door and reprimanded her for not being at the designated spot. When she started giving an explanation, I interrupted her and told her this was the fourth time this had happened and that if it continued, her child may lose the privilege of riding the bus. I instructed her to wait in the drive until the bus returned in a few moments. I then got into my car and headed home. Driving home I was still angry, but I soon realized I wasn't angry at the parent, I was angry with myself for my behavior. I don't know all the circumstances that may be going on with that family and nobody deserves to be treated rudely or disrespectfully. As much as I wanted to get home to my family, I knew that if I continued home, I would be filled with regret and upset all evening. I quickly turned the car around and headed back to the school. Fortunately, I got there before the bus. I approached the vehicle and asked her to roll her window down. I told her that I had returned to make an apology. Yes, I still wanted her to be responsible and pick up on time and yes, I still had to enforce our school rules, but I didn't have to be rude about it. And though I had never raised my voice, I apologized for interrupting her earlier and for being rude. I hadn't displayed the character traits I try to instill in our students. She was a bit taken aback and accepted my apology and she also apologized for not being at the designated spot on time. I got home late that night, but I came home with a refreshed mind and clear conscious.
As a principal, I need to model the behavior I want to see in staff and students. I also realize that we are all human. And being human means we make mistakes. Knowing that, we need to remember that saying "I'm sorry" is part of being a leader or a role model. It also means forgiving...forgiving of others and forgiving of ourselves. Educators aren't perfect, but we may be the one positive role model in the eyes of a child. It's something that can be daunting and even intimidating, but very much needed. So remember when correcting a student (or a parent) to hold them accountable, have high expectations and clear procedures, but always discipline with dignity and remember to be forgiving of yourself as well.
photo credit: Google Images
PEARLS OF WISDOM - From our very own Rosedale students!
"My mama told me when you work hard you learn your best." - Kindergarten student
Me: "That's really cool what you did on the computer" Student: "Thanks, but my friend taught me how to do it." - 4th grade student
"My mom's name is Sarah. That's short for Princess." - Preschool student
TEACHERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE! (3 minutes)
Monday, November 9: Jon to Rotary 12:00-1:00 pm
Tuesday, November 10: Report Cards sent home
Wednesday, November 11: P/T Conferences in the evening
Thursday, November 12: No Staff Meeting
No students P/T Conferences Day & Evening
Friday, November 13: No School
Tuesday, November 17: Elementary Principals at Wayne-RESA 7:30-10:00 am
Wednesday, November 18: IEP Limberg/Boggs 8:20 am
Elementary Principals to Walled Lake for Instructional Rounds (pm)
Thursday, November 19: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 pm
Friday, November 20: Goodfellows Canned Food Drive $2 or 2 Cans = Bag of Popcorn at 2nd recess
Monday, November 23: Picture Retakes in PM
Sheila Alles building visit 2:00-4:00 pm
Wednesday, November 25: Thanksgiving Break begins