Thursday, June 9, 2011

Speech of a New Principal

This event is both historical and spectacular in my life. This is something first, something new and something different to me as an educator. I am glad that all Maduya ES teachers are gathered at this special event of my life. I am glad that they are part of my first bite as a principal. I am glad that I will spend my new role as a leader at Maduya Elementary School and more delightedly in Carmona, Cavite.
I don’t like to talk too much at this moment but I feel it is a requisite to a new leader to tell something of him, and so I’m here to express my feelings and I am sorry for being too idealist and somewhat vulnerable. I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my plans for Maduya Elementary School, my new station, our school.
As an educator, I spent nearly 16 years as a classroom teacher since July 16, 1995, the date of my appointment as a permanent public school teacher. During those years, I have experienced various leadership styles from five different principals. Some are worth emulating and some are just (well) worth remembering. Some stayed too long and some just dropped-by like summer. Therefore, I know you have no reason to believe anything I say regarding how long I plan to be at MADES or what I hope to accomplish. It will be my actions that will communicate my commitment to you, to the students of MADES, and to the community. Still, I want to take this time to express some of my beliefs about education, from which you may deduce the expectations that I hold as principal. In a politician’s jargon, my platform is very easy to remember, I call it NOEL Agenda. It’s not No Election Agenda but a simpler one.

First, is N for Nurture Teachers. I am a supporter of teachers. Years ago there was a DepEd lingo which tell “child-centered” strategy in teaching. But on the other hand, I wanted one that said “teacher-centered,” not because I think less of our pupils, but because I believe that if we have great teachers in our classrooms, then we do not have to worry as much about the pupils. Home life is abysmal; parents have given up on disciplining their children and expect the schools to fix the problems; pupils have experienced so much failure in life that they now refuse to try. There is little we can do as educators to change these factors. What we can control is what happens at school and in the classrooms. We can call parents. We can ask parents to come in to meet with us. We can talk to the pupils. We can set expectations and help children meet those expectations while we hold them accountable. We can be the calm voice in the crisis. We can speak with reason when emotions are high. We can do so much. Therefore, great teachers are the most important ingredient to the success of our school.

Two Smiles. It is so nice to see in an educational climate that both the leader and the subordinate smile with one another while working together.
Secondly, O for Oblige to ReACh Out. The dream of Project ReACh should not be forgotten and let us now oblige ourselves to begin to understand that every school-aged children and out-of-school youth in the community of Maduya should go to school. My dear teachers, let us hope that every Filipino in our time and in the future would acquire some form of complete education to compete in a 21st century economy and in the centuries to come. Our educational institutions are failing when we allow one student to leave without a diploma. Our goal must be a 100% graduation rate and we must do everything within our power to achieve that goal. But sometimes, children’s home lives are unsupportive and destructive. So this means that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. But we cannot afford to focus on the things we cannot change. We must concentrate on those things we can change and the places where we can make a difference—the classrooms and the halls of our school. We can set high standards and high expectations, and we can find ways to hold our students accountable to those standards and expectations, while supporting students as they learn. The excuses we find for allowing children to fail do not excuse us of our duty. We must find a way to help every student to reach his highest potential with the compassion, and initiative from us and their dignity that every human deserves. At this juncture I would like to mention that I would like to fully implement the computer classes and the conduct of various programs which will help our MADES pupils’ performance rating to go better. I am also thinking of ways and means to reach out for those out-of-school youths of Maduya.

Hot. My desire to lead and serve is like the heat of these peppers which kills the sour feeling in someone's heart.
Thirdly E for Excel in Many Ways. There is always a road for excellence in whatever we do. Let us just put our heart into whatever we do everyday. Dedication is not expensive. We have this in our heart, we only have to feel and let it grow. It is the only ingredient for us to make our task complete and useful however hard it might be. Don’t cradle mediocrity in our heart it will never bear good fruits. The teachers are the bridge between the pupil’s dreams to their accomplishment, so be strong and forceful bridge for the pupils welfare and future. If you really are a bridge, dream and wish that many children would come and use you as their bridge from one riverbank to another. What is your use if nobody comes your way?

Finally, L for Learn to Value Yourself and your Profession. I do believe that we, as educators, are models of integrity, to the highest standard of honesty. We are held to a higher standard by our communities, by our students, and by our colleagues. As actions speak louder than words, we have to ask ourselves, “What are my actions communicating to those around me?” If I absent every sick day and personal day to which I think I am fully entitled, what does that communicate to my students about the importance of attendance? If I refuse to enforce the rules of the school in my classroom and in the hallways outside my classroom, what does that say of my attitude toward the rules of the school? If I close my door to the concerns of my students—or in my case, of my teachers—what does that say regarding how much I value these people and their concerns? If I refuse to contact parents when a student is failing, what am I saying about the importance of the partnership that exists between the parents and the school? I strive to be a model of integrity and ask the same of you. When we falter, we must learn to begin again; for there are truly no failures, only those who give up too soon.

My strength as an administrator is not yet proven and some of you might ask questions to that. But I believe that the key to conflict resolution is taking the time to truly listen to the concerns of other people. Therefore, my land and cell phone lines are open. (But don’t ever send me an anonymous black text) My office door is open.(But don’t try to knock on my house door because more often I am away). But in my office or here in school, I promise to find the time to sit with you, with parents, with students, and with community leaders to hear the concerns. I cannot always afford you the luxury of having your way, but I hope you will always feel that I value your time and, more importantly, that I value you.

I am more excited today at the prospect of coming to MADES to serve as the next principal than I have ever been in my educational career. My only promise is that I will work hard every day and allow my actions to tell the story of who I am and of my commitment to this school. I will make mistakes and work hard to correct those mistakes. And I will see successes (because I know teachers here are not dumb) and join in the celebration of those successes. I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you and I invite myself to come see you in your classroom.(LOL) I’d appreciate getting to spend an hour or so with each of you in your classroom to get to know our pupils scholastic performance.
I have been told that you are an enthusiastic, results-driven team and I am looking forward to utilizing your talents for the benefit of us all. I come from should I say - a high-performing Central school (but literally for me it is), and here at MADES, I will be observing the educational climate first and later on will be introducing some new projects and programs to help us reach our potential. Please do not compare me to your past principals. Disederata says: If you compare yourself with others, you will feel bitter and vain; for there is always a greater and lesser person than yourself. That also applies when we compare one person to someone else.
I am sure that we can work well together and I know that you are all capable of a great deal. I am here to help you reach your potential so I’m relying on each of you to prove me right!
Let us work hand in hand collegially and collaboratively for the betterment and progress of our lovely Maduya Elementary School. Let us revive the glory and sparkle that it has.

1 comment:

Peter Hamish Scott said...

Noel You know what you will give to these teachers under your guidance you will create a wonderful school with your fullfillness