Helpful hints, position essays, and useless blather from the Assistant Principal of a high school in Southern California. Posts here do not necessarily reflect the positions or views of the school or district with which he is employed.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
posted by Q6 at 11:01 PM
A lot has happened in the last week (and a few things over the last two years) that tell me I should seriously start considering the change I've been avoiding for the last year and a half.In this district, an Assistant Principal lasts at a site for about five years. This is my sixth at this particular site, and I've seen a lot of changes--naturally, some have been good and some have not. It's not the school I started at, and sometimes it doesn't even look like a school (not from my vantage point, anyway). I don't enjoy the process of looking for another position, let alone adapting to one. I also have to keep in mind the financial aspect of everything; were I to go back to the classroom--which is what I'm dying to do--now (as opposed to . . . *sigh* . . . six years from now, when I'm done with child support payments), my finances would collapse.Maybe this is a temporary spell and I should tough it out. Maybe it's time to change sites, or even districts. Maybe I should think about something other than education. Maybe I should quit complaining and just deal with it.Dunno. But I know I'm not professionally happy right now.*Another movie reference. If you don't get it, try whispering.
posted by Q6 at 7:31 AM
So I'm driving to work this morning and on the golf course, the local park, and even our own athletic field I see . . . frost. It's the first time I've seen this particular city look anything like Winter. Very cool.
Friday, January 12, 2007
posted by Q6 at 5:08 PM
I had an entire conversation with someone who probably had no earthly idea she was insulting the hell out of me. She's higher in the professional food chain than I am, so I couldn't really call her on it. There it was, however, plain to see.I was asked today to think about moving from my current office (located in the Administration building) to a completely different building on campus. It's just an idea she's kicking around, she says. While she'd like to think I believe her story about the benefit of stationing administrators all over campus in an effort to better monitor the goings-on at school, I know that she's sick of having the discipline cases lined up in the lobby for every visitor and dignitary to see the moment they walk in. This really couldn't be more professionally insulting. If I were to move out of the building it would feel like a professional demotion under the most unprofessional of circumstances; how else should an administrator feel when asked to consider moving out of the administration building? Things would certainly change there: people would have many more unanswered questions and a lot less fun if I were to be hidden away in some closet somewhere.(Actually, she gave me the hypothetical choice of the unused ASB conference room or the current Language Arts office. Neither appeal to me.)
Thursday, January 11, 2007
posted by Q6 at 5:02 PM
Maybe it's because I used to be a nationally-ranked speech competitor in college; maybe it's because I used to coach the Speech Team; or maybe it's just that the people who came to make the presentation at our school today are idiots.If you're going to make a presentation to a group of people--educators, no less--then here are a few tips:
- If you know you're going to use a PowerPoint presentation, bring your own digital projector. Asking your host to provide one would be like David Copperfield asking the Luxor for a white rabbit . . . "Yes, I'd love to do some magic for you--do you have any tricks I could use?"
- If you're going to write on a easel pad, then (a) please bring your own (see above), and (b) do not write on white paper with a red pen on a dimly lit stage. Your audience will not see what you're writing and quickly cease to care. (Moreover, the solution to this problem is not to move the easel eight inches downstage.)
- Don't read the PowerPoint to us. We can do that.
- If you speak after the PowerPoint presentation is done, turn off the projector. Or shut off the computer. Or do SOMETHING that will end the slideshow. Your audience will not be able to concentrate on your story while the words "Thank You" roll up and down your tum-tum.
- If your co-presenter has the words "Thank You" rolling up and down his tum-tum don't wait twenty minutes to do something about it.
- Your host went to a lot of trouble to find you that black marker--don't just walk off with it.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
posted by Q6 at 5:06 PM
I suppose it's not nice to take advantage of my position--especially at the expense of others--but some people just make it too easy. (1) After the campus modernization moves through a building, things don't always work as they should. Some complain about it; others--like me--use the situation like a water balloon. The hall lights in one building were mostly off on a very cloudy day. "Why are most of the hall lights off?" one teacher asked me. "Well, it's pretty cloudy; the solar cells probably aren't getting enough light," I replied, deadpan. As I walked away, I glanced at the teacher's face as it stared at the ceiling. Yes, she bought it.(2) There was a minor electrical explosion on campus one recent evening, which caused a bit of panic (one of the splices arced and killed the power to the entire neighborhood for hours). The next day, students were ripe for the picking. "I heard there was en electrical fire last night!" exclaimed one young lady. "Is it safe now?" "Oh, yes," I replied, matter-of-factly. "The electrified fence just malfunctioned, but it's all fixed now." Her jaw hung open longer than I expected.God, sometimes I love this job.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
posted by Q6 at 5:03 PM
You know how when you do a big update to your computer, you always hold your breath and clench your fists until you know it ends ok? Yeah, this week's gonna be a lot like that, I think.We switched over to a new Active Directory over the Winter Holiday. It was supposed to be seamless. "You won't even really notice a difference" said the memo from IT. We're already having problems with the printers--since we had a power outage when the geek squad showed to install them on the network--as well as the attendance office equipment. Then we had problems with the Internet. Like cold maple syrup, the Internet dripped slowly all over campus; and teachers, like elderly drivers, browsed leisurely about their day . . . while visions of twirling hourglasses danced in students' heads. (The BIG joke: the problem with the Internet feed was at the County Office . . . the office we got our feed from because it would be so fast.)We've spent all this time and money to get everything automated (and become addicted) and use the full power of the Internet. What do we now lack? The Internet, and power.* It's a movie reference. With a computer that fails. Kinda relevant.