Principal’s Corner: Portable principal office
Principal’s Corner by Diane Edwards
Having our students know I am available to help them is important to me as the leader of our building. Students need to know I will go the extra mile to support them through the good and the mistakes in which to learn. Students need to know I will help them problem solve when mistakes are made.
Through my tenure as the leader, I have made it a priority to get to know students; not just their name, but what they like, don’t like, what they do outside of school, etc. I greet students in the morning, say goodbye at the end of the day, spend time in classrooms, in the lunchroom and when I am out in public. This year I have taken this one step further by setting up a portable office for me to work at throughout the building. My goal is to increase student and staff interactions throughout the school year. Being present can be powerful to our school culture.
Through the summer I searched to find an inexpensive desk on wheels (as a trial) that I could easily transport through the hallways to do my work. Excitedly I found one for $10. Yes, I drove 50 miles one way to pick it up. I chose to take my son to help me load it up in my car, and then I promised to take him out for dinner. (So, really it was more than $10, but worth every penny!)
Throughout the week, when I would usually be working on schedules, writing newsletters, analyzing data or any other office work, I now take the work to my portable office, where I can not only work, but be visible and available to our students and staff throughout the day. It provides more opportunities for a smile, affirmation or encouragement while students walk by with their silent finger wave. This allows me to be more in touch with our students and staff throughout the day while I accomplish some necessary work. Face to face interactions can’t be beat.
The reactions from students and staff have been exciting and fun! The interactions with students and staff are priceless.
Diane Edwards is the principal of Sibley Elementary School.