Principals on Board

A peek into a school principal's schedule may offer you valuable insights…

Lt Col A Sekhar
A peek into a school principal's schedule may offer you valuable insights…

Cushy job, did you say? It may appear so, but one has to step into the shoes of a school principal to know what it takes one to make one. Some days, it is only lines such as those by poet Maya Angelou to keep them going...

Monday…

0740 hrs

The School has reopened after the Diwali break…

Innocent, exuberant children throng the School corridors and pathways with unadulterated joy!...

The noise levels are just that bit louder…

The staff looks refreshed and bright…

Yet, the head of the institution is pensive, reflective, even anxious…

On the face of it, he has little reason to be…

Yet…Why?

A peek into his schedule may offer a due…

0800 hrs

Meeting with a couple, concerned teacher, counselor…….

A family problem…

The child badly affected…

A long counseling session ensues…

Emotions are running high!...

A reasonable solution is brought about…

The parents walk away relieved…

The Principal permits himself a half smile…

Quickly, abruptly, the teacher requests for a meeting with the Principal alone…

The teacher is initially quiet, then breaks down into sobs!

Tremendous anger, trauma and bitterness…

Somehow, the Principal calms her down…

Picks up the phone to talk to her friend in the School; tells her to speak to her through the day…

1015 hrs

By now, the morning tea break beckons…

Smart, winsome girls and boys meet the Principal and share their birthday excitement…

Impatient teachers and students rush in to meet the Principal…

Short crisp orders given;  the Principal visits the washroom…

On the way, he surveys the faces…

Quickly, takes a round of the School after the bell has gone off…

The School is well set, yet the teachers have a quizzical look as they wish “Sir”…

“Sir ka mood theek nahi hai”….

Back in my office, the Counselor is waiting…

She is desperate for a separate audience…

By now, the Principal is weary already inside…

Yet outwardly, shows a stentorian face…

The teacher quickly summarizes an issue her spouse is facing …

The matter is serious…

Frantic phone calls, high drama, emotional cauldron…

Somehow, the immediate crisis is resolved…

In between, distress calls from Co-ordinators, teachers….

Absentee students’ parents contacted…

Some parents respond negatively to the phone calls…

At least one teacher is in tears…

1215 hrs

By now it is lunchtime…

A teacher walks in.. requests for leave to handle marital discord…

A recheck on absent students done… for a second time…

One secondary cluster student’s parents contacted… again for a second time…

Ashen-faced teachers walk into the Principal’s office …

The student has left home; cycle parked just outside the School, yet the student unavailable since 0745 hrs!!!...

Initial panic; calls all over, parents upset, aggressive; rude yet, the Principal manages to stay calm; his sixth sense tells him that the child will be back before School closure time…

Expectedly, the student found; distraught family members get physical with the student…

The student is beyond consoling…

Only sobs, and more sobs…

Over 90 minutes of patient, calm guidance and counseling make the family members, student (more than a basketball team) see reason…

They are grateful...

By now, we are beyond 5 O’clock in the evening...

Somebody from the office asked… Sir, did you have lunch?

The Principal was flummoxed; he could not remember!!!

To paraphrase Raj Singh, Dungarpur [Former Indian Cricket Selector who asked of Mohammad Azharuddin, “Mia, Kaptan Banoge?”] - Barkhurdar, Principal Banoge!!!

The author, Lt. Col. A Sekhar - Director & Head of Schools, Alpha Group of Institutions - is a dynamic, result-oriented soldier educationist with over 30 years of holistic experience in the areas of education, skill development, administration, leadership and HR at the highest leadership levels.

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