The Reflective Principal: The Best Job in the World

California principal Scott Borba delivered this poem to his fellow 2017 class of National Distinguished Principals.
By Scott Borba
Principal, March/April 2018. Volume 97, Number 4.

The Best Job in the World

I think about the work we do that people know and see.
We walk through rooms, break up fights, and issue every key.

We observe our teachers and give feedback, a difference we hope to make.
We do research, watch videos, and share the knowledge that we take.

We yell, “Slow down,” and tie some shoes, so no one trips or falls.
We go to meetings, and talk to parents, and answer angry calls.

But what about the job we have that no one but us knows?
You know, the reason we wake up each day and put on all our clothes.

We help the one whose mom and dad were fighting all night long,
By hugging and encouraging them, assuring they did nothing wrong.

We knock on doors and deliver food to families who’re in need.
We sit with struggling first-graders helping them to read.

We calmly take every punch that angry parents tend to throw,
And love their children anyway; our hurt feelings never show.

We know the kids that need the most love are often the most neglected.
So we build rapport, talk with them, and make them feel connected.

We cover classrooms when subs don’t show and attend countless IEPs.
We leave Post-it notes with kind remarks to put stressed-out teachers’ minds at ease.

We make deals with disruptive students, to get them to sit in class:
“If you make it until lunch, I’ll give you a homework pass!”

We counsel single moms and dads struggling to make ends meet,
And encourage them to not give up because the reward will be so sweet.

A call over the radio, this shouldn’t be a stunner,
It’s the first day of school and a teacher says, “Mr. B, WE HAVE A RUNNER!”

Future teachers, doctors, and lawyers … each day we get to borrow.
What a privilege and responsibility. Man … I can’t wait until tomorrow!

My alarm will ring and my tired body will shuffle to the shower.
I’m so lucky to get the chance each day, the future to empower.

We don’t take credit for the work we do that no one ever sees,
So let’s enjoy this moment … congratulations NDPs!

Scott Borba is principal of Alice N. Stroud Elementary in Modesto, California. He is a 2017 National Distinguished Principal.


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