April showers, bring May flowers…so…April struggles bring…
April is a struggle. As a Principal I am split. I have the responsibility to complete the current school year. There are still three months remaining in the current school year. 30 percent of the year …
But, I am asked to look ahead to the next school year. What number of classes will we have? Who will teach which grade? Will there be transfers of teachers? How many new students will register? What presentations should we book? What maintenance needs to be completed? While many of these questions appear logistical, some answers will change the dynamics and culture.
So, my focus is split. This makes me ineffective and I know it. I also realize that there is little I can do to change it. It is the reality of my role. Hence, my struggle.
Today I spent my morning in classrooms, focusing on the “now.” I listened to a collaborative conversation in a junior high-class discovering Aztec culture. I had the opportunity to observe a grade eight girl ask a significantly profound question of her teacher, while another student made a meaningful and powerful connection between the Aztecs and current literature. In another class I observed a powerful demonstration of the class system as an introduction to a piece of historical literature. Students shared with me the purpose of a mapping activity in Social Studies. In one of our more challenging classes, I had the wonderful experience of reading aloud a chapter of their current book. We predicted, we questioned and we laughed. In grade one I assisted the students in creating their “Spring” sentences and reminding them that each sentence ended with a punctuation mark.
I could not help but be amazed at the incredible progress of our students and marvel at the dedication of their teachers. These next three months are going to go by all too quickly. I have encouraged the teachers to try to slow it down and enjoy some of the little moments each day.
So, while I do need to make decisions for the next school year, I need to enjoy the remainder of this year. There is still work to be done.