Wednesday, August 15, 2012

13 Things This Former Principal Will Tell You

So, I got the most recent issue of Reader's Digest a week or so ago. I love that little magazine. One of my favorite sections is the "13 Things Your ________ Won't Tell You!" You know what I'm talking about...
 "13 Things Your Monkey Trainer Won't Tell You!" 
1.  Monkeys don't naturally throw their feces, we teach them that.  It's kind of a tradition among us and we think it's hilarious (the tradition is teaching them to throw their feces, not that we throw feces; just clarifying).
2.  Monkeys are actually carnivores and will eat your face in a heartbeat.
3.  Monkeys are not people too.  They're monkeys!  Duh!

This month they have "13 Things Your Principal Won't Tell You!" so I've decided to come clean and tell you straight up...

13 Things I Wanted To Tell You But Couldn't Because I Would Probably Have Been Fired!

1.  After meeting you, I now understand why your child acts the way he/she does. All that yelling and cursing really doesn't help you make your point.  It only reinforces what I've suspected all along. This kid is a product of his/her environment.  And it's no wonder he's flunking his Biology course. What you just told me to do is biologically impossible. When you left, I opened my window and let all of your craziness out of my office. Seriously, I did!

2.  Screaming at me and calling me an idiot does not help your case with me. Seriously, didn't you ever hear about catching more flies with honey than vinegar?  I don't know why anyone would want to do that but the point is still valid. As a matter of fact, when you yell and hoot and holler, I pay more attention to your teeth and mouth than I do to the words coming out of them.  Some of you have some jacked up dental needs.  

3.  Please, for the love of all that's holy, check yourself for body odor before you come see me.  I have to sit in my tiny office with some folks that I am convinced had poop-throwing monkeys in their homes. It's horribly distracting and it's hard for me to concentrate on your concern.

4.  Telling me you are going to sue me only makes me chuckle inside.  That's the lamest thing you can say to me. It's also a conversation ender. If I'm threatened with legal action, I have no choice but to stop talking to you and give you the phone number for the school district's attorney. 

5.  Telling me your kid is a genius three times in a meeting is not like a magic incantation.  It just doesn't work. You may have convinced yourself of that fact, but his I.Q. test scores don't bear it out (insert music from shower scene in Psycho here).  I don't know how to break it to you, but your kid is average. Yep, just average. And you know what?  That's okay!  

6.  Telling me that your kid doesn't lie to you is a huge red flag for me.  Every kid lies to their parents about something. The fact that you believe everything your kid tells you makes you less credible in my mind.  It also tells me you may have delusional thought patterns. 

7.  If I ever say to you, "Well, would you like to file a formal complaint at the board of education office?" it's my covert way of encouraging you to do so and letting you know that I'm thinking you could help me get rid of a particular teacher that's been a pain in my backside. 

8.   Yes, I know that particular teacher is an offspring of Satan. However, being the child of the devil, he/she is particularly sneaky and tricky and has a natural ability to avoid getting caught doing what we all know he/she is doing.  It drives me crazy knowing that he/she is getting away with it. Seriously!  And, I'm doing my best to get rid of him/her.  You can help me do that by giving me solid examples of whatever you are upset about. 

9.  Cussing me or my staff will result in you being asked to leave and it will taint you forever. Seriously, if you cuss me or my teacher, I will put an ick on you that will last for years. Plus, I may call in the poo-flinging monkeys.  I'll definitely be less willing to meet with you or work with you again. 

10.  Going to the superintendent before working with me is a bad strategy.  If you by-pass me, you've eliminated a layer and lost an opportunity to resolve the issue by working with me. A good superintendent will send you back to me and ask that you give me the opportunity to work with you and the teacher. There's very little that we can't resolve together and this builds goodwill between us all. Going over my head gives me a negative impression of you. 

11.  If you have a meeting scheduled with me or a teacher, have the decency to call and let us know you will be late or that you can't make it. Believe it or not, your child is not the only one in the building and we have a lot of other things to do.  If you don't show up and waste our time, it leaves us with a bad impression of you and we will schedule the next appointment assuming that you won't show up. 

12.  If you are going to check your child out of school early, you'll probably have to come in and sign them out.  Calling from your car and telling us to send him/her out won't cut it with most of us.  We have to make sure that your child isn't being taken under false pretenses.  Don't be mad and don't cuss us out.  That only makes us more stubborn.  I want you to face me or my secretary after you've spoken that way. 

13.  PICK YOUR KID UP FROM AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES WHEN THEY ARE SCHEDULED TO BE OVER!  We actually have lives separate from the school.  My wife and children love me and want to see me sometimes.  I used to arrive around 6:30a.m. and, if there was a game or activity after school, I wouldn't get to leave until after 9:00p.m.  If you are late picking your child up, I have to stay and wait for you.  It's the right thing to do.  I don't want anything happening to your child.  However, I will probably ban your child from the next event.  It stinks that your kid suffers because you aren't on time to pick him/her up. 

Okay, I's a fourteenth one...
14.  I honestly and sincerely did care about your kid.  I disciplined them when they needed it and I tried to help them understand why they received the punishment they did.  I celebrated with them when they succeeded and I was honestly proud of them.  Every time I had to send a kid to the juvenile detention center, I broke down inside.  Sometimes, I went into my office, shut the door and I cried.  Every time I see a former student in the news or in the arrest reports my heart breaks.  I feel like I've lost a battle.  I wonder what I could have done differently.  I pray for them and I ask God to help him/her see that there's a better life out there. 

So, there you have it.  It ain't much, but it's what I've got to offer you right now.  Until we meet again...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment on anything you read. Just remember that I will delete anything I deem inappropriate or that I don't like. You can email private comments to me at Thanks for reading!