A few years ago I attended an assistant principal seminar and picked up a tip that I thought was wonderful. It addressed a concern of mine, how am I supposed to support all these students if I don’t know them. The opportunity to meet and get to know the students in your building is not an easy task. I decided to give this new advice a trial run so I started to meet all of the 6th grade students in our building at the beginning of the year. A little something I call “6 for 6“. Simply put, this is the opportunity meet with six students for six minutes (at least I try to get it in 6 minutes). This opportunity unveils the chance to meet the kids get to know their names and ultimately fulfill one of my goals, to get to know kids by name and support them the best I can.
I ask three simple questions, the first being their first and last names in the hope that I can remember names and faces of the 300+ students that are new to our building each year. Secondly, I asked them to share a favorite thing to do, so I can get to know them a little bit better. Thirdly, I ask them to share a goal for the school year or a success that they’ve already accomplished for the school year.
I truly enjoy this time that I have with these kids even though it is very short. It gives me the opportunity to interact with students in a small group setting and help them to be comfortable in the leap from elementary to middle school. I sincerely feel this is a practice that should be done by all principals to get to know your students better and to help them to have a great experience in your building.
This has become a standard practice in my role as Assistant Principal, try it, you’ll love the personalized interactions!