Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Misconception About Administrators

The Misconception About Administrators
By: Ryan Hur
The word administration often has a negative connotation in a typical school. Administrators can sometimes receive a bad reputation due to their forced disciplinarian persona. While it is true that they have to be disciplinarians in order to keep the school a safe environment, they also have a countless amount of crucial tasks that make the school a better place. In my recent experience shadowing an assistant principal, I learned several aspects of their job that is not commonly known by students.
            I had no idea the immense amount of unnecessary disrespect a vice principal can receive just in lunch duty. We stood at the far side of the cafeteria, scanning the crowd, looking for any sign of disruption. There was none but nevertheless, we started walking through the aisles. He smiled at the students, saying hello, often starting friendly, yet for some reason tense, conversations. The students would sometimes give him dirty looks, respond sarcastically, or not engage in conversation at all, but it didn’t faze him. He continued to engage the students that were friendly and had nice, productive conversations with them. There was one example however, in which a student was completely out of line and treated him with incredible disrespect and insubordination. This student was brazen enough to force himself into an argument with the assistant principal, attempting to dictate what the assistant principal should do for him. He had a twisted view on the respect that should be shown to someone of his authority. It shocked me that the assistant principal could be shown this disrespect in such a short period of time. After the altercation had ended, the assistant principal turned to me with a smile on his face and said, “It can be hard sometimes.”
            Another major part of the day was hallway duty. We would go to a crowded part of the hallways between classes and make sure everyone was getting to class and not misbehaving. We weren’t intrusive; students were allowed to stand in groups and socialize, so long as they weren’t blocking the flow of traffic. To ensure that he would ask them to step to the side of the hall and they would sometimes ignore him or begrudgingly walk to the side of the hallway, while giving him a dirty look. The unnecessary disrespect triggered by such a mundane task is unfathomable.
            A crucial part of a thriving school is a friendly relationship between the students and the administrators. Students need to understand administrators are there to make the school better, not just to discipline them. Once the barrier is broken, administrators and students can work together to make the school a productive place. In order to do this, an administrators need to make themselves as approachable as possible. Announce that they are open for conversation and support for the students. Make themselves a welcoming figure to the majority of the school.

            If these steps are taken the school will thrive off the relationships between the upper levels and the students. Administrators will get student input on how they want the school to function and the perfect middle ground can be met to make the most productive school environment possible. I learned a lot about how an administrator is treated on a daily basis and how they can handle the lack of understanding that they are making the school a truly better place. On top of all of the things I learned, I made a friend in a place I thought I never could.


  1. Ryan,
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts after "job shadowing" an administrator for a day. You are so correct that there are many aspects to "A Day in the Life of" and that some days and situations are more difficult than others!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  2. Eagerly awaiting another blog from my amazing nephew...