Principal Not

In my school district we have this wacky thing called teacher in charge. This is code for putting some idiot in charge of the school when the principal is out. At my school I am that idiot. This is like putting the Joker in charge of Arkham Asylum. I really don’t know how I became the go to guy for helping out the principal. Truth be told, most of the time I am a very anti-social teacher. I don’t really fit into the culture of my school. It is very conservative with a nice edge of we want students to fit nicely into this little box we have for them.

I am more of the let your freak flag fly type of teacher. I don’t want you to fit into a box. I want you to show me who you are. I want to get to know you and appreciate what you bring to the table. This makes it difficult to be the teacher in charge. I am constantly getting students sent to me that I know the teacher has written off for one reason or another.

These last two weeks have been hard on me. We have a new principal and a bunch of trainings, meetings, and deadlines that crushed her all at the same time. This has left me principal for 7.5 out of the last 10 days. During that time we have had numerous student melt downs, a few teachers melt downs, and a campus lock down as police searched for an escaped fugitive (the helicopter circling overhead was really fun).

I basically do the job as a favor. I don’t get paid all that much for doing it. Nowhere near the work I put into it. These last two weeks I was mostly in my class, only leaving when I was needed. My sub (who was great) would take over during those times. I have really been thinking about giving it up. The thing is I like the chance to interact with students who are not mine. Even if they are being sent to me because they are in trouble.

The most common thing I heard over the last two weeks is “when are you going to be a principal for real?” to which my reply has been, never. I am not built for the job. It is too hard for me not to tell teachers what I am thinking when they send a kid to me for having a purple streak in their hair. Way too hard for me not to react when I see teachers treat students with no respect. I wouldn’t be able to sweat the small stuff. I wouldn’t be diplomatic enough. I have no patience for anything which doesn’t make a student’s school life better.

There are a lot of brilliant teachers and parents at my school. The ones who are not would drive me to insanity. It isn’t worth it. I will continue to teach. Continue to enjoy meeting new and varied students every year. I will leave the principal work for those more and less capable. I may not be normal. Sometimes I question my sanity but even I am not crazy enough to do that job.

About csdaley

C.S. Daley was born in California but has spent most of his life in his imagination. His first short story written in third grade, the now classic "Close Encounters of the Turd Kind," was sold to his next door neighbor for a quarter. The neighbor promptly demanded a refund. An unhealthy obsession with the writings of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett have left his mind warped and broken. He spends most of his evening swilling down coffee while tapping at a keyboard under the watchful eyes of his kittens. They are there to make sure he doesn't snap. He likes to write fantasy for adults and teens.

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