Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dreams versus Reality

I took the principalship of LLCS because I believe that I can have a positive impact on the the staff and students of the school. I dream about the students doing very well in school, I hope the teachers who come here love their experience teaching here as much as I did when I first came, and I want to strive to build positive relationships with our parents and the community in general. The realities are still there though and we, the staff, have so much work to do.

I have to be realistic about what is in my control and what is not though. I felt things started off fairly well for me, but change has allowed me to do some new things and see some new things. I have managed to spend a few hours at the Ducharme Building and see the K-6 end of things; the differences I have seen have been an eye opener. At the k-6 level I am seeing students anxious to please adults, students who are curious and want to learn (one grade 5 boy taught me that Dandy long legs have venom), and I am seeing students who are quite cooperative. On the other end of the spectrum, I am seeing high school students who seem disconnected with the purpose of school. They challenge authority and rules, and some appear to have little interest in attending classes although they do want to be in school. What causes this change? It is too simplistic to just blame it on adolscence because there are teens who remain focused and who do want to pursue a good education. I wonder what kills the dreams of childhood of those who get lost on the journey? I wonder how do we rebuild those dreams? I wonder ... I wonder....

I approached one class in the high school on Friday afternoon after I witnessed some of the students from the class arriving excessively late. I went in to talk to them about what they want from school. I tried to reason with them that to get educated you need to work at it. They have a very hard working and enthusiastic teacher in their class; I could see her frustration though as she was struggling with them to meet their responsibilities. I felt at least for a few minutes some of them were understanding that we, the staff, are not the enemy, but I have a feeling it is a lesson that will need to be re-taught and in more than one room. I really hope the staff are willing to adjust their expectations for what a student should be and learn to meet the students from where they are coming from. I dream that the staff will see the strenghts of their students, will see their humanity, and do their very best to take them in a positive direction. I know after the first week of wandering two buildings with nearly 1000 students, I am seeing many staff working very hard to make it happen. That has to be regarded as a good thing! A new week is coming with new challenges; we have to realize we won't always make the progress we dream of, but we also must realize that we have to dream or we have already failed.

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