So working with over 370 kindergarten students you really get an honest opinion from them on just about everything. This year we started asking them specifically questions about being a Principal (Kid Principal) and it really started to make me think about what I am saying and showing these students about being an adult. Do students just need to see me in my office or in classrooms evaluating teachers? Or as we are shaping futures of our communities is it “okay” to show that the Principal has a life outside of the office?
The medals in the picture are of all the races I have done since starting at Woodson four years ago-I keep these up in my office and love the comments I get from student-mainly “did you win all these races?”. But it opens the door for me to share my love of running and triathalons with young learners and explain to them what a triathalon or half marathon is and what I do to prepare for an event (and yes even thought I haven’t won a race I still keep trying :)).
I also have pictures of my former ‘life’ and books of my previous classrooms. “You mean you were a teacher?” “Why did you change your mind and want to be a Principal?” “How old are you anyway?” are a few of the conversation starters those pictures have drawn out of students. I love to share my story and let them know that it is okay to change your mind when you grow up and having different jobs happens and helps me grow and be a better person (and Principal).
However my favorite time is showing off my family. I am really lucky to have children of my own who love to come and volunteer at my school. The kids always are intrigued by the fact that I am a mom-and think it is funny that my younger son was a student at our school “Mrs. Cabeen-did he call you mom or Mrs. Cabeen?”.
So the next time you have an opportunity to share a little bit about the personal side of being a Principal-give it a try. It may open student’s eyes to opportunities they wouldn’t have dreamed of before.