Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Principal's Office

It's every kid's worst fear: being called into the principal's office! So a group of educators on the TruTV series The Principals Office are letting viewers peek behind those doors and see what happens as they discipline their students. "The things that we're seeing today that we have to deal with mostly focus around technology," says a New Jersey high school principal, Eric Sheninger. "It's a major problem that as administrators we have to deal with because students with long hair will be listening to iPods and potentially have their answers on the iPod. Or they'll be texting kids in other classes the answers."

One of the top mistakes a parent can make when they deal with their kid's school is to disobey the rules by, for example, texting their child during school hours when phones are not allowed in class. "Consistency is a must," adds Yolande Bonaparte, a South Carolina dean of students. "You have to let parents know and let the teachers know what we're doing so that it is enforced consistently."

Another no-no for parents is to ignore the chain of command by going straight to the principal's office before first discussing a problem with their child's teacher. "We only have in high school four years left to make sure these children learn everything they need to learn about how to resolve conflicts in a work place, in society, in relationships," Yolanda says. "When you take it upon yourself to go in and step above the hierarchy, that still doesn't help the child learn how to resolve conflict."

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