EDITORIAL – If I was Principal

EDITORIAL - If I was Principal

Angel Udofia, Guest Contributor

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of editorials written by the students of LHS. Up first, Angel Udofia who wrote this editorial as part of Speech Class. If you would like to submit an editorial, please see Ms. Duffy in C218.

If I was principal of LHS the first thing I would do is quit.

I would quit the mentality of being everyone’s superior and sit with the students and teachers as equals because the first step to being a great leader is to not lead alone. Every month I would take the time out of the school day to hold a meeting in the auditorium. I would take the time to converse with students and teachers and listen to their concerns and ask them what is on their minds. See, if I was principal I would tell them no question is stupid and would create an environment where they feel comfortable enough to do this.

During this time, I would lay out rules and consequences. My expectations for everyone in the building. I would change the classrooms and the way we teach. Why is it that we put students in straight rows, tell them to raise their hand if they want to speak, leave when the bell rings, and give them little breaks to eat?

Sounds like the basics of prison to me.

We tell them what to think and make them compete to get the highest grade. How many people have cheated on a test? We are living proof that school doesn’t care about our actual learning more than they do our grades.

We like to blame teachers for this, but not the system that made them. Teachers by far have the most important job on the planet and do you see how the system pays them?

So, if I was principal I would abandon traditional teaching methods and make teaching basics our top priority.

Start preparing kids for the future instead of the past. Teaching them things like how to file for taxes, purchase a home, apply for loans, make investments, and build credit. Incorporate real world problems into curriculums.

If I was principal, I would advise everyone to take a minute and look at a textbook. Half of the people we idolize did not have formal and/or secondary schooling. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, shall I go on? Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Margaret Mead.

How many people in this room own an I-phone? Thank a dropout.

This is not me telling you to drop out cause there’s plenty who have and been unsuccessful because they did. It’s me letting you know there is a difference between people who are smart and one who scores better.

Of course, if I was principal, none of my students’ worth would be judged by their scores. I would call all teachers to look at the word education. You see, there are two different Latin roots of the word: educare meaning to train or mold, and educere or educe to bring and lead out.

Teachers need to bring forth not push in.

Stop force feeding us information we need to memorize for tests. School should not be a game you play for grades. Instead it should challenge us to think critically. Express creatively. Work innovatively.

Teachers need to bring out the gifts, dreams and abilities within all their students. Give your undivided attention. Give them the knowledge and proper mental training they need to navigate the world and connect with others.

And finally, guide with hope. Every student needs that one person that helps them through their successes and failures, pushes them to never give up on themselves and inspires them to be the best they can ever be. If I was principal, I would tell all my faculty members that their job is to be that person. We would see so much more personal and academic success if we just followed this fundamental principle.

If I was principal, I would take the whole school on a trip: a day in a low performing school, so students would realize we are not all taught the same. Make them realize that education when done well, is vital and can be used to change the world.

If I was principal I would make it my duty to make sure every one of my students feels special. So my morning announcements would be filled with words like hope, like care, like love. More importantly, to love yourself.

There’s this one principal in Philadelphia. Her name is Linda Cliatt-Wayman. She ends her announcements with the same phrase. ¨If nobody told you they loved you today, you remember I do, and I always will.¨

Every student deserves to hear that.


Because every single person you will ever meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

You see, If I was principal of LHS none of my students would leave this building questioning: What is school for? Instead they would tell anyone and everyone I wish I went to school more.

When my students ask me questions like ¨What is even your job anyways?¨ I would answer with, the job of a principal is not about the love of power, it is about the power of love. Love that is shown throughout the hearts of all my students.