Mr. Jagels, the principal at Oakdale Elementary, sends a weekly communication memo of upcoming events, celebrations, and other announcements to parents and guardians. He also finishes each weekly message with a glimpse into why he loves being an elementary principal. Enjoy reading a few of his messages sent during the fall semester of 2018.
Why I love being an elementary principal . . .
Yesterday, a kindergarten father was not able to see his little girl off for her first day of kindergarten. Mom decided to attach a “Go Pro” video camera to her chest to capture the moment she walked in the building and then share with dad later when they got home. When I asked the kindergarten teacher what she thought of this novel idea, she said, “It was great, however, the only view dad got was of my behind because I was walking in front of her the whole way up the hallway.” Kindergarten teachers have a special place in my heart!
During our fire drill this week, a poor kindergarten student tripped and fell as she was crossing the curb exiting the building. Before a teacher could even help, a third-grade boy ran over and helped her up, holding her hand the rest of the way. Kindness abounds at Oakdale every day.
Last week, a 3rd-grade boy got dropped off at school after an appointment. When mom and son said goodbye, the boy blew her a kiss. Mom, in turn, blew him a kiss back. After she turned her back to leave, her son grabbed the kiss out of the air and placed it in his pocket. Mrs. Rands asked him what he was doing. He replied, “I’m just saving it for later.” Mom had no idea what he did because she had already turned to leave. Yet another reason why I love being an elementary principal – innocence.
A teacher shared with me an answer from a math test this week. The problem asked the student to explain why 32 is divisible by 8. The student wrote that if you score four touchdowns in a football game and go for 2 point conversions on each touchdown, that would equal 32 (6+2=8 times 4=32). So yes, 32 is divisible by 8. This young man is a true Husker fan! Have a great weekend!
This week a student came to the front office holding a tooth they just pulled out, blood dripping from their lip. The student was happy as a clam, with a blood-filled grin from ear to ear. Immediately following the first student, another student from the same grade entered the office holding their finger, crying hysterically, because of a hangnail. You have to love the stark contrast of behaviors when kids know they are going to get a dollar from the tooth fairy.
Earlier this week, a small group of 1st-grade students reached their reading goal with Mrs. Borges. As part of their reward, they picked to have a “salon day” and paint their nails. Who else, but the principal, to invite to this prestigious event. See if you can pick out which hand is mine.
A third-grade boy asked me what I was going to be for Halloween this year. I replied that I was going to be a principal. The boy responded back, “That suits you.” I’m so happy I made the right career choice!
Today in first grade, the students read a book about Thanksgiving and then were posed the question of how they would feel if they were a turkey around this time of year. One student said he would be sad because he wouldn’t want to be eaten. I love it that our students can empathize with the main course for a national holiday meal.
Earlier this week, a boy got hurt on the playground and was in the nurse’s office to triage his bleeding finger. Another little girl who had also been injured at recess came in for an ice bag. The boy was upset, hurt, and skeptical about going back to class. The little girl took it upon herself to put her arm around the boy and say, “It’s okay, I’ll walk back to class with you.” And off the two students went, back to class. Where else can you see children show so much concern for another human being? We can all learn from this example.
We have a few students who are honing their social skills and need a little reinforcement every so often. One of the prizes on their goal sheet is to have a three-minute dance party when they check in at the front office after meeting their goal. The other day, I happened to walk into the office at this time. What to my wondering eyes did I see? A secretary, health aide, and custodian, all dancing to their heart’s content with two primary students who met their goal. Only in an elementary school (and only at Oakdale)!