Elementary principal scores
On Tuesday, a letter came home from Floranada Elementary school informing us that our son Ryan had been selected to attend FCAT camp for a month of Saturdays beginning in February.
At dinner that night, our fifth-grader announced that he wasn’t going. (My husband Dan and I assured him that he would be attending and explained that extra help to prepare for the FCAT test was a good thing.)
Ryan disagreed. Being asked to give up three hours every Saturday was outrageous, he said, considering he spends Monday through Friday “working myself to death.” Not.
Then something amazing happened.
At dinner Wednesday night, Ryan excitedly told us how the new principal, Keith Peters, had come to class that day and invited him and several other kids to eat lunch in his office. Ryan described Mr. Peters' big, ultra smooth desk, and told how he was a Yankee fan (I knew I liked this guy) and that he really loved hockey and the Florida Panthers. Then he said Mr. Peters took a few minutes to talk to the kids as they ate about the Saturday FCAT camp.
We asked Ryan if he wanted to go. “I sure do. Mr. Peters told us it was a good idea so I’m going to do it.” (He was going anyway.)
We’re impressed. Not only did Ryan feel special by getting to eat lunch in Mr. Peters' office, but now he feels like a partner in his own academic success.
Clearly, Mr. Peters understands that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. His lunch invitation was inventive and refreshing and saved us from having to use our usual top-down approach to education. But best of all, Ryan now feels really special, he wants to please his new principal and he’s looking forward to going FCAT camp on Saturdays.
Nice hat trick, Mr. Peters.
-- Doreen Christensen