The Principal's Office
Leadership. Collaboration. Innovation.
I had the opportunity to present to a group of 8th graders in another district this week about our high school Academy program and at the end of the presentation their counselor walked up and said, "Wow, you are high energy, you had those kids engaged the whole time!" After I said thank you and got back to my car I reflected on what she said. The more I thought about it, "Isn't that our job?"
As administrators and teachers WE are responsible for the energy we bring into the room. Yes, the students are responsible too, but if we aren't energetic, passionate and engaging, how can we expect our students to be? Students are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. They know when a teacher or an administrator is just going through the motions or aren't connected to a particular lesson. We've all been there. It happens. However, the students know too. I may not be all jacked up to talk about SGOs or standardized test data but the energy that I bring is not based around those topics. It is based on what those topics are about.......student success. The energy that we bring into the school and into the classroom must be centered on every student, every day, whatever it takes. (Thanks Jimmy Casas!)
I know it is hard. I know that the students may not be motivated. I know that some are missing work. I know that there is grading to do. "I can't possibly have all this energy you are talking about Rich." Yes you do. It's inside of you. It's why you are a teacher.
If it were easy, everyone would be a teacher. As you prepare for the next day, next week or even the next teaching period, bring so much energy into the room that you don't need light to illuminate it. Work will always be there. There are a zillion things that I have going on too, but there is nothing more important than igniting a fire of learning in a student.....and if the other things we have to get done are important for student learning, they will get done too. Bringing positive energy into our school and classrooms is our job. In fact, it is our responsibility.
Richard M. Hayzler
A life long educator and current Principal of Pequannock Township High School in NJ, Rich is excited to share his ideas and thoughts about education and how we can change the world for our students and our staff.