School Principal Appreciation
May 1, 2022, is National School Principals' Day!
I am so lucky that during my 25 years as a classroom teacher and 6 years as a teacher's aide, I always had amazingly innovative, inspiring, and supportive school principals. Not only did I learn from them, but they were always open to learning from me, my colleagues, and our students and families. I hope that this is the case for you as well.
I do recognize that my positive experiences with principals may not match the experiences of many of my educator and parent friends reading this. And I do realize that we still have much to do still when it comes to administrative support of inclusive models of teaching and learning. That said, I believe that educators, in general, go into the teaching and administrative fields with the best of intentions. Oftentimes though, the systems we give our lives to can bury those intentions with bureaucracy, policies, and pressures from the higher ups.
I've always felt great appreciation for my administrators. I can't imagine "a day in the life" of a principal. I recall numerous accounts of my principals being gracious with me when I made mistakes, rescuing me when I needed a potty break, supporting me with parents who were angry at me or scared for their child, covering for me when I had a sudden family crisis, and trusting me when I said, "I want to help our school go Beyond Awareness," a tradition that spanned 18 years of my teaching career, and that continues today, not only at my school, but schools across the country. These are just a few of the many ways that my principals have supported me. And they supported not only me, but 75 other staff members and 850 students and their families at any given time.
Show some love to your principal this week. Whether it be a grandiose student art exhibit, a heartfelt student performance, treats in their office, or a simple note in their inbox, acknowledge them with appreciation or encouragement.
Shout out to my McMillin Elementary School principals who let me take the reins when it came to disability awareness and inclusion. Forever gratitude for John Gugerty, Jorge Mora, and Cindy Orr. Truly the best...
Happy National Principals' Day!
Image Description: My extraordinary principal, Mrs. Orr, playing on the slide at recess with one of my former kindergarteners. Photo used with permission by student's parents.
P.S. See the attached free certificate of appreciation made especially for you to present to your favorite principal.
To learn about my work and my journey to inclusion, watch my TEDx Talk here. Or listen to my podcast interview on the Think Inclusive Podcast here.
Diana is an educator, speaker, author, and podcast host of Beyond Awareness: Disability Awareness That Matters. For Diana's free resource for educators, The 5 Keys to Going Beyond Awareness, click here.