Teaching Principal Revisited

I have been a fulltime principal for about ten years. A few years back, I took on teaching the sixth grade social studies class at the same time. I wrote a mighty fine blog about it: http://principalspov.blogspot.com/2012/11/top-ten-benefits-to-being-teaching.html. I was a social studies teacher before becoming a principal. During my first few years in the classroom, I taught sixth grade. Being a teaching principal was a good experience, but proved to be too difficult to try again the next year.
However, since December 4, I have taken on a 75-minute math class. You see, our 4th/5th grade math/science teacher is out on maternity leave, and the longterm sub I hired decided this was not the work for him. I have been unable to find someone to take the rest of the leave. So, we have been cobbling together the instruction for these kids.
Our interventionist is planning and sometimes teaching the science for both 4th and 5th grades. She works with whatever daily sub we find to make sure the students are still getting some science. One of the special educators had been co-teaching 4th grade math and has taken over the full teaching of that class. That left only 5th grade math. The interventionist wasn’t available as she was busy teaching 7th grade at that time. The special educator had to deliver other services during that slot. That left us no other option but me.
I am loving it. I am learning tons and getting to know this group like no other in the building. I have earned some capital with the elementary teachers as I try to learn how to use Eureka Math (nee EngageNY). Had attended the training in August 2016 and had exposure going back a year or two before that. I thought I understood the program on a superficial level. Well, now that I have taught it for eight weeks, I can say that Eureka is not a script that any untrained person can follow. We need real teachers who understand math and math pedagogy to make sense of the program. We need real teachers who can assess where the kids are. We need real teachers to make real educational decisions.
I’m not sure I fit that description, but with some help and lots of trial and error, I am making it work. That said, I can’t wait for the teacher to return from her leave, and I’ll miss this class at the same time.


  1. Jan Kasal said:

    I come from a country where principals are required to continue to teach, though reduced hours. I think it should be the rule in the US as well.

    January 30, 2018
    • A bunch would have to change to make this a requirement in most schools around here. I’d love it if we could get to that point one day. What country are you in?

      January 30, 2018

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