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.
Monday, September 14, 2009
posted by Q6 at 11:03 AM
I haven't felt like this in over five years.Well before my current relationship (now a marriage) began, my personal life was in a severe state of disarray--to the point where panic attacks, several a day, were a normal part of my routine. The panic attacks were frequent enough, not to mention unpleasant, to consume every waking moment of my life. It took some time, some introspection, and quite a bit of effort to get my life to foresake the panic attacks and move on to a state of mental peace and harmony.Ah, those were the days.I will not be spending much time ranting about the conditions and dysfunction of Phoenix High School; while this blog is anonymous, bloggers have been outed and dismissed, and I need this job. (Though in light of the first week of school around here, it might not be the worst possible of outcomes.) Suffice to say that my opening week with students went well, but learning to tiptoe around my new boss is a little more nerve-racking than even I had planned, and I had planned for quite a bit. In the end, I know that at some point I will need to stand up to the guy, and when that moment happens I hope I come out of it with nothing more than flesh wounds.(Writer's note: I began this post several days ago. Since then, things have become incrementally better. I'm still a bit nervous when it comes to meetings and such, but I'm trying to take steps to cement myself in the school enough that I can better bounce back from whatever fallout may occur at some point.)All in all, I still feel like I'm getting through this by the seat of my pants, and it's not a good feeling. Little by little, day by day, I'll get there.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
posted by Q6 at 9:29 PM
I'm back from a summer of relaxation, commotion, and confusion. Didja miss me?When last we left off, our hero (that's me) was being transferred once again to another campus. (For those keeping score, that means that in this district I've been at School A for seven years, School B for only one, and now I'm starting my first year at School C.)A blogging friend and former colleague of mine has created a pseudonym for his school, and I think that may be necessary here. I may not blog a whole lot about the site itself--I don't want to get found out and fired, after all--but it'll be easier than typing "School-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named" all the time.Therefore, I now work at Phoenix High School. This is not related to the City of Phoenix in any way (especially not since the campus is, like, six blocks from the beach); the school is just completing some construction--which will still continue for the next month or so--and the name may be physically appropriate given that the new buildings have grown from the ashes of the old. This blog is devoted more to concepts and educational theory anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem.Remember, though, that my prior two schools in this district employed me as a middle school assistant principal. I'm now the AP at a high school.I'm going, as they say in baseball, to the show.I caught my wandering, daydreaming mind today--in the midst of the first-day-back-for-teachers-so-let's-hold-a-big-old-meeting meeting--drifting toward a large cloud of insecurity. I've always wanted to be a high school AP, I've been training to be a high school AP, and I've dabbled a bit in the duties of a high school AP, . . . . but am I ready for this? I'll be the sole administrator incharge of discipline for a campus of over 2000 students. I'll be in charge of campus safety, technology, and attendance. These are all tasks I've handled before, so it's clear I have some experience.I think my main problem is that I must now perform for yet another principal, one whose perspectives, attitudes, and managerial processes I've not yet completely learned. It's kinda hard to impress someone you don't know how to impress.After speaking with my family about it over dinner, I discovered two things. One is that I have a professional strain of first-day-of-school jitters, nothing more. The other is that there was once a time in my life--not as long ago as some would think--where this feeling of insecurity was the norm and confidence was rare; it's the opposite now, and it's a great feeling.As my son suggests, let my Dr. Pepper hat's embroidery be my guide: "Be You: Do What You Do."