I used to be a Principal of a Christian school. I was there for several years and my main focus was to impact the children and teens I was responsible for. I certainly wasn’t perfect at that, but I really tried to cause change in their lives.
I tried different methods to impact them and nothing seemed to work until I starting scaring them regularly…
Let’s me be honest. You have a bit of power as a Principal and you strike fear into children just by walking in the room - saying “Boo” relay loud worked great too. Often I would just come to a classroom just to exert my awesomeness and power. I would walk in and watch the children squirm and get nervous. It was great!
I had several little tricks that I liked. They didn’t know I was messing around with their psyche, but I did and I had a blast! The classroom walk-in thing was weak compared to others.
Walking up to a table behind the cool dude in a certain grade and tapping him on the shoulder, just to make him jump was fun.
The intercom was way cool too. I could listen in silently to a class as a teacher was teaching or when they left the room - this was better, since the kids would generally get mischievous when the teacher was out. As I listened, I would wait for a few minutes and then call out a random name in the class. They would say “Yes Sir” and I would ask them to settle down. They always thought I could see them somehow, but I just picked any random name. So way cool...for me.
I used to call into a classroom and ask for a student to come to the office and when they got there, I would just ask them a question about lunch money, homework, or any crazy subject I wanted, as they squirmed.
Sometimes I would call them up and ask them to pretend they were in trouble when they went back to the class, so the rest of the class would be fearful of office visits. Some of them worked up fake tears for me! They got a free candy bar with that effort!
Another thing I did, was to call a student up to the office and have them come in and sit down across from my desk. I would have them sit there for a few minutes and then, just send them back to class without any explanation. Great fear and confusion both...is that cruel or what?
But my favorite thing to do, was to call one of the junior or teen boys up to the office and have them come in telling them I needed help with something important. I would often have them rate the newest video game on my computer and then I would let them play some before they went back to class. I would also have them play a game of darts with me or I would just sit and talk for a few minutes about nothing important. Sometimes I sent older teens out to get a Coke or a fast food meal on me.
You can see why I am no longer a Principal...I was too much the "Pal" in Principal...
The last one doesn’t match the rest so much, but it was the best one I could have done. I never really wanted them to fear me. I wanted to influence them and see them mature and change for the Lord and the future. Taking time with them was the most influential thing I could possibly do. I wish I had done it more and with more students, because children and teens need positive influences in their lives, especially these days.
Hopefully you didn’t take this post as prideful, but as a reminder that the generations behind us need to be impacted. You don’t have to be 30, 20 or 10 years older to impact - you could take a peer and change them too.
Lessons Learned: Take time for people, both young and old. Influence everyone you can, whenever you can.
Thoughts: Has anyone ever thanked you for your influence? How many of you hit the play button on Angry Birds Rio?