My best friend once said, “The more principles you have, the more principals you’ll have.” I think about that phrase often, and, if you have read my Walk of Life page, you’ll understand why. I have worked in five schools, three in Wisconsin and two in Texas. I am not of the generation that will have 7-15 jobs in a lifetime, or whatever that statistic is. I want to find a school where I fit and that I can take pride in. My expectations are reasonable, I think. But you tell me. Here’s what I expect from the school where I work:
That pretty much does it. (Let’s just assume there’s a roof.)
KIPP Charter Schools has this amazing philosophy that sums up what I expect from my co-workers and my administrators.
- Work hard.
- Be nice.
Again, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. If I had my own children, I would want their school’s staff to work hard and be nice. Pretty simple.
But that’s not what I’ve found. I have left three schools because the atmosphere of the staff was so horrible that I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t want to leave again. I don’t want Paramount to contact me for the rights of my life story, The Runaway Teacher. I want the people I work with to see how detrimental their negativity and hostility are to our students.
I am not perfect. I am far from perfect. But I am never mean to my students. I never scream at my students. I never call them names or use sarcasm to “relate” to them. I never humiliate them. I never threaten them. I never lie to them. I never take my bad day out on them. I never swear at them. I never trick them. I never treat them like they’re useless or worthless or hopeless.
I want students to hold their heads high when they walk in the door in the morning, with big smiles on their faces, because they know they will be treated with kindness by every adult in that building. I don’t want them to be afraid to come to school.
So, the question is, how do I get my colleagues to join my Kindness Revolution without making them hate me?