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.
Principal's Brag Board
Each month, we celebrate one student per class for working extra hard to improve his or her work quality and bring up grades. The students' names are added to the Principal's Brag Board on my office door.
Thanks to Marlene Scott, principal at J.B. Watkins Elementary School in Midlothian, Virginia
Egg-Timer and Clean-the-Parking-Lot Meetings
We have staff meetings of several different types.
Thanks to Alan Siebert, principal at South Salem School in Salem, Virginia
Blow Up Your Teachers
Each year, the teachers in our school provide something special to liven up the hallways. Everybody on the staff has an information sheet or some special writing that appears with their picture. We blow these up so they are poster-size. This year, we are celebrating the school's 40th birthday so each teacher wrote a short piece to share "What I was doing 40 years ago" or, in the case of young staff members, "What I plan to be doing 40 years from now." Lots of children and visitors pause to read the posters.
Source: Teri Stokes, "Schools Find Many Ways to Say 'Welcome Back'" (EducationWorld.com -- August 19, 2003)
A Reading Break
I set aside time to take over a class for a special read-aloud time that gives teachers an extra break. I might read a favorite book and do a follow-up activity; or I might make special arrangements with a teacher to read something connected to the classroom curriculum. Besides offering a brief mental-health break for teachers, this is a great way for me to get to know students and for students to see the principal in a different light.
Source: "Sixty-Five Ways to Recognize Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week -- and All Year Long" (EducationWorld.com -- April 22, 2003)
Scavenger Hunt for New Students
We hold a hot dog roast the day before school starts. The school's PTO sponsors the roast. In the past we have also run a scavenger hunt for new students. Each child got a sheet with questions on it. They were teamed with veteran students who assisted them in finding things or locations around the school. At each destination, the new student got a signature from the staff person in charge of the area. The student also received a little prize such as a ruler, stickers, or pencils at each station. A scavenger hunt is a fun way for new students to get to know the school.
Source: Marcia Wright, "Schools Find Many Ways to Say 'Welcome Back'" (EducationWorld.com -- August 19, 2003)
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