This past week I was able to work with Guilford Education Alliance and be a “Principal for the Day” at Colfax Elementary School in Colfax, NC on Thursday, November 14th.
My principal that I shadowed was an awesome hostess. Julie Kimsey reached out to me by email and we touched base.
She asked me to arrive at 7am so I could help her meet the car riders. As soon as I walked in the treasurer said, “DeAnna Lawson!” I had gone to school with her. Isn’t it a small world?
So we started the day – and ya’ll what wonderful fun we had. We went out and got to meet the car riders. Welcomed the kids in to school. Ms. Julie Kimsey set such a lovely tone for her staff and students. We walked around and greeted staff and students. We went to her office as the announcements and Pledge of Allegiance and then we took off for a staff meeting.
The meeting was with the Math Guru from Eureka and 5th grade math teachers. These teachers are prepping their kids for middle school and they are passionate about this. Now, I never had children, but if I had to help them with math today, it would be terrible. The math guru had us work out a problem and I knew how to do the problem and get the answer – BUT what they want is the children to think critically. I raised my hand and said, “I’m sorry are you sending cheat sheets home for the parents and grandparents? And are you making it clear that the initiative is to make them think critically instead of solve the problem? I would struggle with that.” Bless their hearts they all looked at me and said, “We try.” I will tell you one thing, in that class room I saw people that were VERY CONCERNED about the books your children are learning from, the standardized tests your children are taking and I was very impressed with the teachers at Colfax Elementary School.
My mini-rant is on the standardized tests that are required. If this is what children are being graded on, then each school needs to know anytime there is a change to the requirements on these tests. There has to be a way to communicate this information directly to the teachers that are teaching. There also has to be a way to relay to the parents.
Okay, back to school! Ms. Kimsey went in to her classes and I met some of the greatest kids. One thing the children were focused on is kindness. This just tickled me to the core. The Viking Best Code requires the students to
Treat others kindly
There is one school in Guilford County that has a service dog and I was at that school. Ya’ll know I love dogs. Iris is trained to alert people if “her person” has low blood sugar or high blood sugar. She looked at me a little suspect, but she realized I was there for a good reason. (Or maybe my sugar was high?)
Ms. Kimsey had gone to Colfax Elementary as a student and she has deep roots in the community. It was evident as she took me around to the trophy cases the pride she had in her school and dedication to her students and past students as well. It just tickled me to see the joy she had talking about the Colfax Basketball Championship in 1962 and finding their championship basketball.
Around 10:50am we were getting ready for the Grandparents Day at the book fair. The grandparents were coming for lunch and to take the grandchildren to the book fair. It was so nice to visit with the grandparents and help them get signed in. I was able to do that while Ms. Kimsey handled some other issue.
We left the school at 11:15 my “principal for a day” gig was done. It has taken me 4 days to write this blog because I don’t think words could share how excited I was to participate with Guilford Education Alliance and Guilford County Schools and Colfax Elementary for this event.
We went to a luncheon with all the principals and shadow principals and there were many people from the community. Dr. Sharon Contreras the Superintendent of Guilford County Schools was there and explained the vision you has for Guilford County Schools to grow. It was very informative.
I have great respect for all educators and support staff at the schools and my job as Principal For A Day just opened my eyes to how much goes on to make a great school. Your principal sets the tone for the school, encourage them, encourage the staff and encourage your child’s teacher.
After my first staff meeting!
I just had to be the I in KIND. I’m glad I’m fun sized.