Teacher Appreciation Week – Get in the Classrooms, Principals!

This week starts PALS screening for kindergarten and first grade classrooms in our district. Didn’t anyone realize it was Teacher Appreciation Week? 😉

As principals, one of the best thing we can do to show our appreciation for our faculty is to help out in the classroom. Teaching can be an isolating job, so any type of presence we can provide is very much appreciated.

This week, I am teaching for at least one hour in each of our school’s kindergarten classrooms. One benefit is the teacher gets time to administer the end-of-year summative assessments mentioned previously.

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The other benefits are on my end. First, I am aware of what students are currently learning. This gives me that “instructional pulse” of the building. Being in the classroom also helps in decision-making, such as budget allocations and professional development. Reflecting back to these classroom experiences, I make smarter building choices because I can better empathize with the teachers’ positions.

The last time I was in the classroom was 2007.  I do have several years of teaching experience prior my current stint as elementary principal. But with each year as an administrator, it is easy to become further removed from this very complex role. That is why I encourage all principals to consistently get into classrooms in meaningful ways. If this is new to you, Teacher Appreciation Week is a good time to start.

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District, also in Wisconsin (http://mineralpointschools.org/). He also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Matt tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD (www.ascd.org) and Lead Literacy (www.leadliteracy.com).

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