We all have a story about going to the principal’s office. Even if WE were not the one who was sent, we can remember a friend, a brother, a sister, a class clown, a bully, a kid suspected of having lice, a sick kid, or an out-of-control kid being sent down the hall. One thing for sure, it was never to share good news. It wasn’t too long ago that the principals had a strap or paddle in a desk drawer or on public display. No more of that thank goodness.
In my case I was sent twice, once as a first grader and once as a second grader. In 1946 I was in a first grade classroom at Medina Elementary in Bellevue Washington. When it was time to use paste Mrs. David would dollop a glob onto a piece of paper toweling and pass one to each child. We discovered early on that fall that this paste was absolutely delicious! Our teacher told us NOT in any circumstance to eat it but we figured out that when we were in the classroom’s supply closet we could grab a bite or so from a tall white plastic container. Roxy Roman and I were caught and sent off to see the principal. He scolded us just enough so that I never remember eating paste again. Mission accomplished.
In second grade there were 32 students packed into our classroom. Mrs. Johnson must have been beside herself trying to maintain order and at the same time teach us a thing or two. During one work period she told us, “There will be NO talking.” She meant none at all. The girl sitting next to me started to talk to me. I quickly mouthed the words “no talking” back to her. Mrs. Johnson saw this but thought I had been the one doing the talking. Again, off to the principal’s office for another reprimand. I think I made a feeble attempt to defend myself but it didn’t help.
In my book, THE GOOD NEWS CHAIR: A Simple Tool for shaping A Child’s Positive Behavior and Self-Image you will read about the special Chair that sat in my office when I was an elementary school principal. This Chair turned the culture of the office around by recognizing and recording good news as reported by the boys and girls. You will see how this Chair and also work in a classroom or in a home.
So what is your story of going to the principal’s office? I know you must have one. Please share…