Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eyes in the Back of my head

Why did I choose this for a title?  In part because it felt somewhat appropriate for my role as a principal.  My mother seemed to have the innate ability, even when she was in another room, to know when I was misbehaving.  As I grew older I realized that more often than not it was intuition.  It is funny how you can see a group of kids and by looking at what they are doing make an assumption that they are misbehaving, and more often than not be correct.  The problem is that when you assume incorrectly it can be harmful, particularly when it is a child who has had behaviour incidents in the past and now feels that there is a lack of trust.

I remember walking past a class one time where there was a lot of noise.  Immediately I jumped to the conclusion that there had to be an issue in the class.  When I arrived at the class door I at least had the good sense to observe before stepping in.  What I saw was a dynamically involved class with some absolutely fantastic cooperative learning happening. When I entered the class the students were enthusiastically sharing what they were learning and I thought back to my sponsor teacher's word of advice on noise.  Noise is not necessarily a bad thing, it is all dependent on what the kids are doing.

This brings me back to the eyes in the back of my head.  Too often we jump to conclusions about what the kids are doing.  Just because a student has their iphone out does not necessarily mean that they are not paying attention or distracting others.  It would be great if we could see what they are doing in order to be able to guide them more effectively rather than prejudge them.  I also chose this title because I find myself looking back at what I would have liked to have done differently.  Being a first time principal you are bound to make mistakes, the difference being is that those mistakes are more public.  You look at how you would have done things differently in hindsight. I spend a lot of time reflecting...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Remi,
    Great to see you thinking 'out loud':-)
    I'm at home with horrible internet, and so I can't get to confirm that this is the one of 3 videos I want to share. Sonya Woloshen has a great story like this about a kid that took initiative with his iTouch in class to use it as a resource and she called him on it thinking he was using it in a way he shouldn't have... If this isn't the right clip let me know... either way it's worth sharing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kowGRhWAJeM
    Welcome to the blogosphere!