As a classroom teacher, I often wonder “What is my principal really thinking?” So, I asked one, and I’m pleased she was open to discussion. Connie Dunn is the principal at the middle school in my district. She has been a principal for over ten years, and before that, she was a high school English teacher. I’m really excited to share with you her thoughts, advice, and experiences. I think you’ll enjoy her candor and transparency as well.
Meet veteran middle school principal, Connie Dunn:
I grew up in a small rural community. I went to school in the same system in which I now work. I was able to return to my home and get a job teaching. I taught most of the teachers in the building where I am now the principal. I feel that this is an advantage I have as an administrator. My staff knows I will do what I say, and I listen to what they say. I have an open-door policy to encourage communication. Having a Leadership Team to serve as my liaison also helps keep an open line of communication.
I would like for teachers to know that “Teachers do hold the success for our future in their classrooms.” Challenge those minds. Teach students to think and seek not only answers, but also to ask questions that lead to further thinking.
After the interview, Ms. Dunn said it was a bit difficult answering questions about herself. I get that. Principals and teachers aren’t typically focused on themselves, and we don’t often stop to think about why we do what we do. We chatted about how reflection, though, is such a huge part of growth for the person who is reflecting and those who benefit from the ideas shared out. The veterans in the profession have so much experience and knowledge to share; I encourage you to see those people out in your building and district. Thank you, Ms. Dunn, for being willing to reflect and share this point of view.
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Written 8/2019, Cover photo © Julie Faulkner