Feel a Great Deal Better (Remix)

*This is the first of previous MoviePrincipal posts that I am revamping for BlogGaud. In writing that, I got a yucky “Clip Show” feeling. Hopefully, the changes made will make the rereads worthwhile.

Previous experiences dictate how individuals approach new situations.

As a school principal, we often fill vacancies with veteran teachers. Most of the time I am unfamiliar with the working conditions or cultures of the schools from which a teacher is transitioning. From time to time I hear horror stories about “how bad” it was. It is important to take these accounts with a grain of salt. We all know the propensity for hyperbole in education.

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The Worst Question

They say the worst question you can ask is if a woman is pregnant. I disagree. The worst question you can ask someone is, “Is he picking you up after school today?”

Let me explain…

I love oldies music. I love the stories that they tell.

When I say oldies I mean Bobby Darin, The Everly Brothers, Herman’s Hermits, Tommy James and The Shondells, Frankie Valli, The Righteous Brothers, Sam Cooke, The Crystals, Dusty Springfield, etc. Today, some oldies channels play 80s music. The 80s definitely have their place, but oldies to me, mean music from the 50s and 60s.

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Using Hyperboles is the Worst

A school principal has many responsibilities: budget, staffing, professional development, behavior management, and waving to parents at carpool to name a few. However, the one area that comes across my desk the most, or maybe just occupies the most of my time and mental/emotional capacity, is listening to, unpacking, and solving teacher problems.

With a myriad of daily tasks, the ability to triage as a principal is essential. The art of successful triaging is knowing the severity, seriousness, impactfulness, and urgency of each issue. This is rendered impossible with the overuse and misuse of hyperboles.

Hyperboles are meant to emphasize or drawn attention to situations or statements through the use of exaggeration. They are not meant to be taken literally.

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Complicated Coffee

Minimalistic design is incredibly popular. Sleek lines, hidden functionality, and a prioritization of the essential are trademark components of this less is more approach. Marie Kondo has taught us a lot in the past few years regarding the necessity to remove to enhance.

Coffee remains incredibly popular. Everyone has their favorite bean, their favorite drink, AND their favorite method for brewing said cup. This is where the cognitive dissonance occurs.

I like house shows. A cabin, a beach cottage, a farmhouse, a yurt, a castle, a whatever. Architecture and design are extremely interesting. While watching, you either enjoy affirming the choices made by the homeowner or are repulsed by the horrific aesthetic. “Hey Indiana Jones, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it looks good. There is a reason that credenza ended up at the flea market.”

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Waiting for a Green Light

It can be frustrating when you just miss catching a light. If only you left 3 seconds earlier you would be happily passing through that yellow and excited to be arriving at your destination one minute earlier.

But, you took too long to cue up that new Pink ditty (I don’t know if people still listen to Pink or if anyone calls songs ditty) and now here you are stuck first in line behind a fresh red.

Which leads us to the type of person you are. Do you eye that stoplight like a hawk, waiting for the second when it switches to green? For reference we will call these people Light Hawks (kind of like Lincoln Hawk from Over the Top, but not really. I just wanted to reference my favorite arm-wrestling movie). Or, knowing that you are at the head of the convoy, with no chance of missing the upcoming light, do you nonchalantly fiddle with your tuning settings to get the most out of Pink’s trademark vocal grit (come on guys Pink is still cool)? For reference we will call these people Knob Fiddlers.

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Outrage Over Time

My college roommate used to say that arguing with me was like wrestling with a pig in the mud. After a few minutes you realize the pig likes it.

Back then, life was very binary for me. There were two sides to everything. I was on the correct side and anyone on the other side was wrong, dumb, or evil. I spent a lot of time and mental energy bothered by those with a differing viewpoint.

Over the past twenty years two things helped me grow out of this immature and harmful mindset: listening and reading.

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Two teachers walk into a school.

The first one says, “This school is too hot.”

The second one says, “This school is too cold.”

Two teachers receive an email from the principal.

The first one says, “I wish teachers were trusted to make decisions.”

The second one says, “I wish the principal would make the decision.”

Continue reading “Teacherlocks”

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