What would you do? At a club with a great history of club, campaigners, school involvement, and weekly on-campus contact work a new principal was hired. The leaders knew lots of teachers, the security guards, and the office staff. They were all familiar with leaders visiting campus. The leaders were trusted, known personally, and had a 10-year track record of working within the guidelines of the school.
Then, in the first week of the new principal the leader walked into the office to get his visitor’s pass. There was a new lady who was at the front desk who said, “Who are you and why should you be here?” Turns out that leaders are not allowed on campus anymore. The vice-principal vouched for the leaders, but apparently the new people simply do not want the leaders on campus.
What would you do?
6 thoughts on “What NOW? New Principal at School shuts down Contact Work”
Your AD should call the new principle and ask for a meeting to introduce yourself, your history there, and what you offer the the school–in nonreligious terms. It would help if your AD took the local Committee Chair with her/him, but not more–too many could seem like you’re ganging up. Talk up the positives that YL brings to the campus, offer to serve, and of course be kind and professional. Pray, before, during, after. Realize that if you’ve already got relationships with kids, then open campus access is bonus and not a prerequisite for good contact work. You can still go to anything open to the public–football games, science fairs, plays and music performances, etc. You can also volunteer direct with teachers or counselors who set up their own volunteers for the school. Did I mention pray? Pray.
Great comments Dan. Plenty of things to do that don’t require a positive response from the administration: pray, after-school activities, meet with the principle, volunteer if possible. I like the proactive response – much better than the retreat and sulk in misery that is tempting.
We’re having a simular situation at our high school. What we’ve been able to to is establish contacts in the board of education and have had them deeply involved anywhere from adult guests at weekend camps to club, one or more is on committee now.
But the unspoken influence of superiors had quite an impact. It’s still difficult, but we’re headed in the right direction.
Matt, wow – the board of education on committee, adult guests and club and camp… in someways it seems like this difficulty has created some great connections. My hope is over time these will far overshadow the temporary effect of these superiors who are making club more difficult.
Some of the best contact work comes when you’re not allowed to be in the school. Why? When you are not allowed in the school at lunch or during break (as is the case at our school for a year, now), you are forced to be creative and tactical in your contact work. Contact work is not the lunchroom. The lunchroom is a great place to be seen by a majority of students, however.
Our principle, when forced to close campus, reiterated that we were allowed on campus before and after school. So, many days, I wait for the bell to ring and I’m in the building seeing students as they leave class and teachers who are wrapping up their day. I also have the opportunity to stop in a say hello to administrators at that time. Be sure that your presence is felt at games, plays, workplaces, practices (I am at football and wrestling practice very often). BTW: my presence at fb and wrestling practices and my presences at games and meets has won me the honor of being invited to give the invocation at end-of-season banquets for both.
Ask your principle if you will be allowed in school for special events such as end-of-the-day pep rallys. Our administration is good with us on stuff like that.
Good luck…go get ’em!
This happened in our high school. We did several things in this very detailed order… 1. Got really really depressed, 2. Got really mad, 3. Found out what Starbucks drink the administrative staff liked and brought them that several times a month, 3. Strategized with local youth pastors to start bringing really good food to teacher/staff meetings 4. Attended PTA meetings and found ways to compliment the principal in public (this is a pretty low tactic but atleast we’re on campus now).