Be The Principal Who Says “No.”

Can I talk to you when you have a chance? No, you can talk to me right now because I value our conversations.

Do you think we could look into getting this for the school so I could use it with my students? No, I’ll look into right away so we can use it with all the students in the school.

Do you mind if I send you this funny email? No, I encourage you to send that funny email because I am also human and am capable of laughing.

Can we look into getting some updated technology in my classroom? No, because I’ve already looked into it and it’s on its way. I noticed how well you use technology already and thought it might be beneficial to have a teacher encouraging students to do the same. 
I’m applying for a new job and was hoping you could give me some guidance? No, I will personally make some phone calls for you because I believe in your strengths and abilities. 

Can you let me know when you’re going to be coming into my classroom? I don’t like the feeling of being spied on. No, I will come in at random and on a consistent basis because I believe in what you’re doing with your students is in their best interest and that you are always giving 100% effort towards your job. 

This conference is a bit expensive, but I was hoping to go if you think it’s OK. No, I think it’s more than OK. I think it’s wonderful you are wanting to further yourself in your professional development.

Do you want me to sign up for another intramural? No, I want you to sign up for another intramural if you’re passionate about wanting to teach the students what you have to offer out of choice not obligation. 
Do you think I should try this new activity with my students? No, I know you can try it and I know you will do it well while failing, succeeding, and picking yourself back up in between.

Oh, I see you’re sitting with me at lunch. Do you want to know what happened today in my classroom? No. Again, I’m a human being and am able to talk about subjects other than education.
I’m going to be away tomorrow afternoon. Can we switch supervision times? No, I’ll just do your supervision block for you.

I have a student causing me lots of problems in the classroom. There are a few people scheduled to come in and see this student in the coming weeks, but do you have any tips or tricks you think I should try? No, but let’s sit down and think of some together and then I can come to your classroom to help implement these strategies and observe the student. That way when the specialists arrive, I’ll have an idea of what’s happening in the classroom.
I’d really love to use that new tech tool with my students that you mentioned at the last staff meeting. Can you show me how to use it after school so I can best teach my students? No, let’s arrange a time where I can come and teach your class alongside you so we can both learn and teach simultaneously. 

Can I pop out of school on May 15th for a few hours? My son’s school is having their Mother’s Day Tea and I would really like to attend. I will arrange my own coverage with my colleagues. No, I’ll cover your class for you. Your family is important.

This parent has been questioning my every move since the first day of school. They requested a meeting with me and would like you to come, too. Do you want me to tell them we can all meet after school tomorrow? No. Let’s sit down and have a chat just you and I to talk about what will be discussed at the meeting, before we schedule anything. I will always have your back.
Be the principal who says “no.”

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