I just love the title of this prompt! Each and every day, I come to school with the attitude that our students should come first. When changes are proposed, the question that always comes to mind is this- "Will this decision be in the best interest of our students?" It may seem cliche (can't figure out how to put the accent on the "e"), but I believe in this question wholeheartedly. Some recent examples are as follows-
Block classes for our students- This is a change for us in the last two years but we are seeing benefits, especially in Language Arts and Math. We have also blocked Science and Social Studies, every other day, and our Science and Social Studies teachers wanted to try having half blocks every day to maintain consistency with our students. We have run this adjustment for nearly a quarter and I will be surveying the students, staff, and parents for their thoughts as the third quarter comes to an end. Student voice needs to be heard when we make any decisions. After we hear from the students, staff, and parents, we will be able to determine if this change was in the best interest of our students.
Homework Club- We started a Homework Club for any students wanting to attend from 4:15-5:15 every Tuesday and Thursday. It is inexpensive for us to run ($20 an hour for staff who attend) and I am there every session as well. The students absolutely love it and volunteer to come, although some students are "assigned" due to missing work. The parents are huge proponents as well. This is definitely in the best interest of our students.
Principal's Advisory Committee- This year, I have a Principal's Advisory Committee made up of students. Nearly all of our 525 students completed a form I developed and one of the questions was if the student was interested in serving on this committee. 49 students volunteered! We had one meeting so far and I look forward to our next meeting the first week in March. This is definitely in the best interest of the students because they can share their thoughts with me.
My hope, every day, is that the decisions I make are in the best interest of students. That's what a Student Driven Principal is to me. What do you think?