If you want to see a Principal or Vice-Principal smile and beam, walk with them in a school.
The first thing she’ll do is invite you into her office – of course, this is after you’ve sanitized your hands and put on your mask. She will give you a cup of coffee and will be the best listener after asking “How are you?” Then she will invite you to follow her to the other place she works because she is in more than one! There she will introduce you to many other people, and she will tell you how they make a difference for children.
Then she will take you to the school she left behind, and you will watch her re-connect with students and you will smile. Then, at her new school, you will watch her make connections with her new students – and that will make you smile even more.
After that, you will see her friend and watch as he helps host a provincial conference! He will juggle many jobs, starting early and staying late. A lot of his friends will be there, too, and they will bring more than 300 people together in learning and sharing for a whole day! And then he’ll want to walk you through his gyms, hallways, and classrooms, telling you about the genuine care his people have for their students.
And then his friend will want to introduce her student leaders who help the primary students, and they will think you’re the mayor – because of the suit! She will then give you a lesson in playground diplomacy and first aid with compassion and humour.
After a sleep over, you will be invited for breakfast and you can eat oatmeal in his office. After that, he will take you down memory lane and put a spotlight on his teachers’ achievements and his students’ successes. He will want you to take pictures, and he will tell everyone how old you are!
Then he will invite you to take a flight in a simulator where you will nearly land the plane … nearly. That will make you tired, and you will have to visit a grade seven class in their innovative learning space. He will tell you about the collaboration and dedication of the teachers.
After that, he will want to take you to his friend’s school, where they will show you an awesome Maker Space with a virtual sandbox. You will want to play in the sand for a long time, but that will make you late, so you have to hurry along.
Another of his friends will then take you on a walk through her hallways lined with student art work, and she will share stories of the unified culture of her dual-track school.
Sometimes, you will hear stories from his retired friends who have returned to the school, and they will walk with you in the hallways and the shops, smiling as you discover the creative and inclusive programs offered by his teacher friends.
And after you drive by the house with dozens of Hallowe’en decorations, she will invite you to visit the special language and culture space with welcoming chairs and beautiful regalia, and she will tell you of the wonderful people working in this space to support students.
You will end your time in a sacred place, and she will take care to protect this place, honouring the people who have lived here for eternity.
In the end, she will take you back to the office and you will sign out for safety’s sake. And she will beam and smile, waving goodbye, happy to have shown you just how exceptional everyone else is.