New Principal? No Problem!
By Jennifer Cummings, M.Ed – As kids begin heading back to school for the new year, or even at mid-term they may find a new face in the office,the new principal!
As the new school starts you may find that the familiar face you’ve known before has been replaced by someone brand new. This can be unsettling for children, especially those in elementary school , and it can be a concern for mom and dad, too. But don’t worry, seeing that new person should be an opportunity for you!
Be sure to tell them you’ll only need a few minutes of their time to say hello, and you’ll probably get an appointment more easily. Even better, some schools offer a meet and greet opportunity for community members to meet the new person in the evening; stop in if possible to introduce yourself in an informal way.
Unfortunately, you may first interact with the principal over a discipline issue at school. While this is hardly how you’d plan to meet, make sure you keep an open mind if that happens. If you’ve had dealings with the previous administrator, it may be tempting to judge the new person’s approach to issues by comparing them to the last person. But try to resist the temptation to do this- see how the new solution works before making a judgment.
Another great way to get to know the principal better is to participate in one of the many groups that most schools have, including PTO or PTA, school council, and other organizations. Can’t make regular meetings? Become a school lunch volunteer, an office helper, or other volunteer job at the school. All of these are important parts of the school climate and will allow you to get to know the school leader and make a positive difference in the school your child attends. A win-win for everyone!
Having an open mind is the best way to make the transition of a new school administrator positive for both you and your child. By taking the time to get to know the new person and understanding how much effort they’re putting in getting to know the school and the children, the relationship will be better off over time!
"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings.
Her publications: Tips from the Teacher provides useful hints and "tricks of the trade" that you can use at home to boost your child's academic progress year after year. And Homelinks Teacher Tools for Communicating with Parents New Skills Strategies, Newsletters and Home Communication Tools for Teachers(grades 2-8)
More Child Education Resources:
US Dept. of Education
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