On January 28, 2015, I am a motivational speaker for the Wyoming Association of Elementary School Principles ( WAEMSP). About 100 elementary and middle school principles and a handful of teachers from across wyoming will attend.
Elementary School Principles have different issues today than they did 30 years ago. One of these is the increased emphasis on Accountability. Everything from the No Child Left Behind Legislation at a national level and at a state level they are challenged to keep up with Common Course Standards.
Overall what happens today in elementary school is curriculum is being pushed down the school system to lower grade levels. Thus, what is normally taught in junior high is now being introduced in elementary school. An example is all multiplication is taught in the third grade where it used to be introduced much later.
This puts alot of pressure and expectation on students, teachers and the school administration.
There is also alot of data expected to be collected and used to evaluate teachers. There is alot of demand on teachers and test scores. Elementary school principles must be real problem solvers. Every day is new and brings new people and challenges into the office. From teachers to students to parents to administrators school principles must be camelions who can alter their persona to help others.
The job is very rewarding. In Wyoming, to be a principle you must start off as a teacher. Thus, most principles get into education administration because they want to make a bigger difference outside of the walls of their own classroom.
In elementary school, the kids make the work very worthwhile. At this young stage of development these students really need support and mentorship. If it doesn't happen at school many kids may fall through the cracks.
I look forward to being a closing motivational speaker for Elementary School Principles. I will give the motivational speech, This Would be Funny if it Wasn't Happening to Me!