“Wanna be on our team?”
Those words from a 7th grade student were the magic words I needed to hear. As a child around that age, I remember the pangs of isolation being one of the last kids to be called for basketball or kickball. This time it was different. I was being asked to join something special. Here I was, an outsider standing as the new principal being invited to join a game of Kahoot!
New adventure as a principal
Being new to any schoolhouse can be a time of stress, fear and doubt. I am starting a new adventure as the principal for Lexington Middle School. The role of principal carries all kinds of eclectic baggage for many students, teachers and families. As I reach out to learn more about this awesome school community, I look for hooks or entry points to build relationships. Any kind of introductory hook can serve as a doorway for a principal to help build and sustain a positive school culture.
Getting to know the students through Kahoot!’ing
The invitation to participate in the Kahoot! activity was akin to jamming with The Beatles. I immediately sat down with my four new bandmates in the 7th Grade Social Studies Class I was visiting. Mr. Kelly, the teacher on deck, smiled at me and began to set up the game. Students were tasked with reviewing for an upcoming test on the United States and the Cold War. Students excitedly gathered in teams. Conversation centered around logging in and the ever-important task of naming their respective teams.
One of the students asked again what my name and I answered in delight. We decided to take the first initial of our names and combine them in our team moniker known as the “GTGT Squad.” How joyful is this? I am invited in a team by the students I was going to serve and we now had a name!