Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Principal Principle

My office is located close to the school lobby, and the other morning I was sitting at my desk working when an air conditioner repairman wheeled a dolly loaded with equipment and tools to my door. Catching my attention, he asked, “Is Bill around?” Bill is our facilities manager.

I said, “Let me call him for you.”

After making the connection I told the thirty-something-year old repairman that Bill would be here in a minute. Not skipping a beat he asked, “Are you the principal?” I smiled and said, “Yes.” Whereupon he asked, “Why are you happy and smiling?” I instantly said, “Where can you find a work place where you are surrounded by children, caring teachers, and a warm environment?” His response, colored with a bit of incredulity, was, “That’s not what I remember. The principals I knew always wanted to beat the crap out of you.”

I laughed and said, “That’s not my style. I get my energy from kids.” A bit mystified, he guided his dolly back to the lobby to wait for Bill.

If his characterization of what school was like for him was half accurate, how sad for him to have to carry that principle around for so long.

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