Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dear diary

I have decided to rescue Baggy Trousers out of its self imposed hibernation.


My creative juices have been re-energised by working at Ali bin Abi Taleb School. Simple.

I have decided to operate this weblog as a kind of diary for a while to get back into it - so a weblog in it's purest form.

I also want it to be livelier.

Today is Monday in Al Ain and a normal school day. I only have a mathematics advisor here on a Monday so it's a comparatively quiet day on that front.

I'm working on material for my Principal's PD and so I'm reading a book by Todd Whitaker called What Great Principals Do Differently (15 things that matter most).

I'm up to lesson 4 - treat everyone with respect, every day, all the time. Yeah right!

I try hard to do this but when others don't do it back to you it's a tad harder to accomplish.

I hate all the hidden agendas that are often at work in a NZ school context. They exist everywhere I guess but they seem a lot less in this current place.

Mohamed is a great example because he does aim to treat all his staff and students with respect, every day, all the time.

And its got to be an aim right? No one is perfect. No one can do this every day, all the time. We all lapse.

I think the message in the book is to remember this. Treat people as you wish to be treated. And recognise when you don't.

Take a positive approach every day.

Respect. Every day. All the time.

And fix it when you don't succeed.

Recently I was interviewed for a Principal position.

I did a lot of preparation for it. Being an advisor has sharpened up my analytical skills a lot.

The interview was odd though. I could sense that the interviewers weren't really interested in my answers or my ideas for the future of the school.

Just a feeling.

I could tell. They were polite but they weren't really listening. I was telling them some hard truths about their school and they didn't really want to know.

It didn't daunt me or cause me to pause. I was paying them respect.

I didn't get the job. It went to someone whose stated reason for applying was that he owned a house in the town that he couldn't sell. That was it.

I wanted it because I wanted to help the students improve. I outlined ways I would do this. I highlighted the most important areas to focus on.

Nevermind. I wasn't a good fit for this school. They weren't looking for what I was presenting.

It's a pity but I think it's also called a lucky escape.

Respect. Every day. All the time.

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