We had a substitute teacher yesterday who taught here for many years, but retired prior to my principalship. She hasn’t really substitute taught in our high school since my arrival. Shortly after homeroom I saw her and she said, “that young man over there has an ipod on.” My reply, “I know, we allow students to listen to their ipods in the hallways and ask that they remove them in the classroom.” Retired teacher, “and another young man was walking around with a full cup of coffee in my homeroom!” At this I just smiled and nodded my head, but was thinking “yes, I allow that too” as I held my own cup of coffee. It occurred to me that she probably thinks the inmates are running the asylum.
I should have told her that our daily average attendance rate has increased every year during my three years with rates in 2004 of 89.01% as compared to 92.43% in December and in 2004 January of 90.39% as compared to 92.77% this January.
I should have told her that we haven’t had a fight in our school that I can remember, certainly not this school year and that our ISS/OSS numbers have decreased significantly. I should have told her how the climate has changed, we respect our students instead of expecting the worst of them and that this is the reason for our increases. I should have shown her how we’re keeping more students in school for the fifth year instead of losing them to drop outs and how we’re increasing on the Regents results. I should have talked about our honors classes and JCC college credits.
Instead, I turned to talk to a student. And if the student was carrying an ipod or a cup of coffee, at least we were talking. I love this place.