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Elementary School Principal's Page

February 3, 2012

Creating A Positive School Culture

This winter, Shane Russell, won the prize for being “Principal for the Day.” On January 20th, Shane went through a typical day with me, starting with my morning routine. Since it was Friday, we began at Gathering in the gym. I introduced Shane to the school community as the “Principal for the Day,” and they welcomed him with warm applause.

   After gathering, Shane and I stood in the main hallway, coffee in hand (hot chocolate for him), and greeted students as they walked past us. I was impressed to see how many times Shane extended his hand to shake students’ hands! After morning routines, I walked Shane through a list of typical events and we went about our day. We took time to visit classrooms and observe student learning, conducted a facility walk-through and reported our findings to Mr. Steve, supervise lunches, had a post-observation conference with a teacher, and much more! Needless to say, we were both exhausted by the end of the day!

Last week, we had a consultant from Kagan’s Cooperative Learning group, Pam, visit our school to work with our Kagan instructional coaches. Pam is helping our staff become more proficient with incorporating the cooperative learning structures throughout our instruction. She had much positive feedback regarding our teachers’ instructional use of cooperative learning. When she left me the feedback, one thing I did not expect to see from her was, “At least 3 different times during my day here, when I got to a door, a student opened it for me. When I would say ‘thank you,’ they were all certain to reply, ‘you’re welcome.’ What a great sense of community has been created at MRHE!” While this statement was not directly related to cooperative learning, it definitely speaks to our school community.

I am really proud that our students are not only performing well academically, but have also created a culture in our building where shaking hands and good manners are the norm. This does not happen in many schools. I am glad that others are seeing the importance in this and that our students are practicing very valuable life skills daily.


Click here to view the entire February 2012 Newsletter