I didn’t want to be a principal when I grew up. I just sort of fell into it.
And when fell, I was all in! I’m the esteemed lady holding flowers in this picture. Yes. Yes, I did. I ran the school when that picture was taken.
I received my BS in Elementary Education in 1971. Right after graduation I remember clearly interviewing at a local hospital for a job as a secretary because I wasn’t exactly sure education was the path for me. The interviewer asked, “What is your degree in?” When he found it was El Ed, he said, “You ought to be teaching.”
I left his office and the next day I was hired to teach at the 6th grade of the university elementary school! There was a lot more teaching (and learning) between that day and 1987 when we moved to Illinois.
In 1993, after being in the 5th grade for five years (why does it always sound like teachers can’t get out of the grade they teach?), my 5th grade teaching partner across the hall said, “Hey, there’s a course in finance at our local university on track for a masters in Educational Administration. Want to go?”
On a lark we walked into the class and were welcomed into the program almost immediately. I finished my degree in 1994, the same year my principal was retiring. I was hired to take his place, I and transitioned from being a teacher to being principal. The rest is history, some of which I will relate to you! I finished my career there and retired in 2010.
During the 2020 quarantine, I received requests from former students to record myself reading books that we covered in the classroom. Specifically, they fondly remembered me reading the Chronicles of Narnia.
That’s how the YouTube Channel The Principal Grandma got started. I recorded reading two of the first Narnia books, and then read The Bridge to Terabithia. Things snowballed and now I have enough requests to keep me busy for a while!
I loved being a teacher, and learned how to apply those skills into being an effective principal. One of my primary goals as a principal was to encourage student success by making sure they had access to a print-rich environment.
My YouTube Channel continues that passion through videos that will spark an interest in reading. Maybe your child is a visual learner; maybe he learns better by hearing things. Here you have both!
Why not get the book I’m reading in the video and enjoy turning those pages with me!
If you would like me to read a specific book—chapter book or picture book—I would be delighted. In fact, if you send me a copy, I will include the video of me “unboxing” the book and give you a “shout out!”
For more about my career in education, stay tuned!