Teacher for a Lifetime, Principal for a Day










Today I was the acting 7th grade AP, or assistant principal.  What a day!  I had three fights in a ten minute period.  I caught the last two fights, but not the first one.  We have a patio where the students are allowed to go outside and eat lunch. There is at least one person on duty to supervise the kids, I was it.  I was joined by the other acting AP for the day and together we monitored the students.  Easier than it sounds.

The first fight happened a few minutes after lunch started.  A crowd formed around a tree, which was actually two students throwing some pretty vicious punches at the other.  When the other acting AP and myself ran over to investigate, the kids scattered.  And I learned something from this experience.  We have cameras everywhere on campus, don’t pick your nose unless you want everyone to see it at some point.  When I reviewed the video, I noticed the students ran away on the outside of the circle.  So while I ran to the middle, they scidaddled around the outside, thus I couldn’t see them.  I will remember that!

But they were caught fighting later in the lunch, and I did catch them that time.  I discovered something else, kids can be mean to each other just for fun.  When did we get that mean?  When did children learn that saying the most hurtful thing is okay?  Do they learn this behavior at home?  Do they learn it on the playground?  Where?  I was disgusted about what started this fight.  But it wasn’t the only one, I caught two more boys slugging each other minutes later.  Was there a full moon?  I know that boys have a need to “prove” how tough they are, but these kids were really hitting the other one,  Sad.

Being the AP, even if it is only for a day, is a daunting job.  I have done this several times and each day I have barely had time to eat lunch because you really are very busy
, at least I have been.  I enjoy doing it as a change of pace, but I do miss the students in the classroom.  As an AP I think it would be easy to become negative and that helps no one, least of all yourself.  Oh, did I mention we got a “drug tip” at the end of the day.  Nothing like searching a 14 year-old for drugs.  As I left today after bus duty, I found myself looking forward to getting back into the classroom.  At least if nothing else, that is the one positive I can take from today.  Oh, one more thing, I did get to see some great teachers do their thing in their classrooms.  Next time you see your kid’s teacher, tell them thanks, because the ones I saw are doing an incredebly difficult job very well.  Until next time, peace.

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