Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.
Morning Announcement Fun
Our school's morning announcements have evolved over the 4 years we have been open. We include some special features that students really enjoy. For example, each Monday we offer "The Monday Morning Brain Tickler." It's a brain-teaser type riddle or logic puzzle. We give the puzzle answer on Tuesday. At the end of the week we have "The Friday Free for All." Silly jokes and bizarre Did You Know? trivia are shared on Fridays.
Thanks to Joel Gugino, principal at Sinking Springs Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania
All teachers face challenges each day. That's why we take time at our staff meetings to go around the meeting table and let teachers share a challenge they have faced and how they handled it. This is a great staff development opportunity -- since all teachers stand to learn from the challenges that their colleagues have faced and solved.
Thanks to Dr. Bernida L. Thompson, principal at Roots Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Volleyball Tournament Frees Up Teacher Time
To give teachers a break, I gather students of a grade level or instructional team in the gym for a volleyball tournament. The assistant principal and I, and other available support staff, organize and monitor the tournament while teachers spend time socializing over a specially planned meal or work together to accomplish other planning tasks.
Source: "Sixty-Five Ways to Recognize Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week -- and All Year Long" (EducationWorld.com -- April 22, 2003)
Teachers Are Lifelong Learners Too
In my opening day remarks to teachers I spoke about how teaching was changing rapidly and how their jobs would change in the future. I recounted a proverb that I read in an Indonesian train, which I thought summed up my views on teaching: "Learning from a teacher who has stopped learning is like drinking from a stagnant pond." That proverb now hangs in the staff room at our school.
Source: Thomas Beckett, Principals Search for Words to Rally the Troops
Our newest school-business partner is BJ's Wholesale Club. They sponsor faculty meeting snacks and provide incentives such as pizza or ice cream for grade levels that do something "outstanding."
Source: Larry Davis, "School-Business Partnerships That Work: Success Stories from Schools of All Sizes" (EducationWorld.com -- September 16, 2003)
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