Principal Tommy Thompson was in the classroom this week but not in his everyday role as an administrator.
Instead of observing a tenth-grade U.S. History class, he was instead asking students to compare and contrast the U.S. and present day Syrian civil war, and to examine the social and economic issues that led to each war.
As New London Public Schools begins another year of teacher and administrator evaluations, Mr. Thompson believed that this opportunity – awarded to him because a staff member is celebrating the birth of his child—would allow high school staff members to view the principal as the “lead learner”.
“Administrators are teachers first,” Thompson said, “we need to experience what we are asking our teachers to do on a daily basis. The educational landscape has changed dramatically over the years.
In order to best serve my students and teachers, I think it’s necessary to put myself in their shoes.”
In addition to returning to his roots as a teacher, Mr. Thompson took advantage of the teaching opportunity to better his relationship with the students who know him as an administrator although some students remarked on Thursday that seeing Mr. Thompson in front of them was “weird.”