Saturday, May 1, 2010

Letter to the editor- Publicity seeking principal

A letter to the editor today from a school principal defending himself for allowing to be "slimed" by one of his staff members:

Creative principals inspire their students to succeed
Buffalo News

Principals in today’s educational system build relationships with their students, teachers, support staff, parents and community members. They are no longer contained to their offices and discipline wayward students. Principals today know their students’ names, shake their hands, have conversations with them, read, tutor and counsel them. They build a mutual respect with their school community. Students do not need to fear their principals in order to respect them.

Setting goals, working toward those goals and having an intrinsic or extrinsic reward for meeting these goals is part of life. Students today are not always motivated intrinsically to complete their schoolwork with all of the other activities surrounding them. Principals have adapted and found ways to encourage academic performance. If being slimed is one of those ways, then more power to those educational leaders.

One of the side effects is an expanded feeling of respect from the student body toward their administrators. The kids will aggressively work toward the set goals because their principal is willing to do something so non-stereotypical. I appreciate every effort made by my students to surpass our educational goals. I will not stop, nor should the other educators who find creative ways to inspire children to succeed.

John F. Diodate
East Amherst

Spoken like someone who is completely out of touch with the youth of today. Principals have adapted and found ways to encourage academic performance? I don't think so. Being slimed by your students or painted by your students is a publicity stunt. It is not going to benefit the students one bit. All it is doing is saying "Look how much I care about these students!" "Look at me!" I hate to tell you but the staff members are not impressed either and view it as grandstanding on your part.You can know the students' names and their interests and help them reach their goals without making yourself look like a publicity seeking idiot. You want the students to reach their goals? Why don't you try doing something "non-stereotypical" like acting like a leader. That doesn't mean you have to be mean, just fair and observant. Students can tell when someone is on the ball or not. Engaging in some ridiculous stunt is not going to change their attitudes one way or another.

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