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I Get To Be Principal

I love this job.  It's a big job and I keep discovering new things that I need to learn and explore and talk about.  I love that.  But I pray a lot because I often don't know what to do.  Like when there's a deluge of rain and parents send you pictures of the road (or what used to be the road) where half of your buses travel home and the director of the school is out of town so you can't make him figure out what to do.

And of course, there's the kids who are hurting and act out and the upset parents and the teacher who had three family members die in one month.  And four of my six class teachers are new to either HOPAC or their grade level, so we're all struggling together to keep our heads above water.  

But oh, there is so much joy.  There is joy in struggling together.  There's the light in the new teacher's eyes when she sees her kids' progress from then till now.  The discoveries in the storeroom:  Oh, we do have that math manipulative and that resource DVD!   The exhilaration of a problem solved.  Toothless kindergarteners.  Colorful artwork on bulletin boards.  Exuberantly singing children.  And truly, the most creative, faithful, persevering teachers in the world.

And of course, anyone who has worked with elementary school students knows about the amusing conversations.  Here's some good ones:

Fourth grade child:  Mrs. Medina, will the snack bar ever serve sushi?
Me:  No, no it will not.
Child:  Why not?
Me:  Ummm...well...because we don't have a sushi chef.....

Kindergarten child:  My mom doesn't toot very often.  But she does some of the time.
Me: [suppressed laugh] Yeah, everybody does sometimes.

Second grade student:  Mrs. Medina!  K hit E in the peanut!
Me:  [suppressed laugh again] Oh...that's not good....

Fourth grade girl [with much enthusiasm]: Mrs. Medina, can you make an explosion?
Me:  Why?
Girl:  Because I love explosions!
Me:  And you want me to do it?
Girl:  Yes, so that you will get in trouble and I won't.

And one of the best advantages of being the principal of your kids' school?  They can't pull any fast ones on you.

For example, you always win Mom versus Teacher arguments:

Me: Darling, go get your book.  You can do your daily reading while I am fixing dinner.
Child:  But Mom, my teacher says we are supposed to read before bed. 
Me:  Well, this is before bed.  I used to be a teacher.  I know what your teacher meant.
Child:  No, Mom, she says we are supposed to read right before bed. 
Me:  Darling child, I am the principal.  I am your teacher's boss.  So if I say you need to read now, then you need to read now.

Bam.  Win for Mom.  End of discussion.

Here's some of the joy in pictures.  (All pictures below taken by Rebecca Laarman)

My fifth grade teacher and her middle-school-teacher husband.


The charming face that greets me every morning in the office.

Two other co-workers.  We have fun around here.  Enough said.

One of our team of gardeners that keeps HOPAC a haven.

Our new library, less than a year old.

The outside of the new library.

HOPAC kids are reading kids.

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