My Day as Head of School, by Morgan C.

Before my day as Head of School started I thought it would be a fun and tiring day. I was right about it being fun, but not about it being tiresome. I think it was so much fun that I did not get tired.

My day started at the back door greeting students as they walked into school. I thought that nobody would want to shake my hand or take me seriously, but I was way off. Everybody shook my hand, no matter how awkward it was. I noticed that the younger kids did not have the firmest handshake, but the firmness of the handshake seemed to increase grade by grade.

There were many great parts of the day, but I want to focus on two highlights. One of the highlights was teaching PE and Business class. In Business, the kids really listened to me (more than Mr. Powers I think) and in PE I realized how hard it is to get the attention of hyped-up kids, but the whistle really helped. I also did not realize how intense it is to speak in front of students. The second highlight was performing an observation of Ms. Dosh. While observing Ms. Dosh I felt very professional and loved seeing my old classroom again. Observing a teacher, instead of being taught by one, felt very different.

In the end, it was a very good but different day today. Some teachers asked for a raise, most people called me Madame, President or Principal Morgan, and it was weird staring into classrooms where I was supposed to be. It was really cool seeing school from an adult view. This whole day felt like a different perspective for me. From watching teachers to teaching classes, in general, this has to be the best day EVER!!!!!

-By Morgan C.

A Pain Free Day for Head of School Pane

Today, I was able to work as the Head of School at The Woods Academy. The first words, or phrases, that come mind to describe the day are: fun, interesting, faster than a normal school day, sometimes annoying, but overall, it was a good day.

I learned several lessons today as well. One is that you need to be calm as the Head of School. Second is that you need to learn to say no to people sometimes. Lastly, I learned that I need to be careful sharing my plans because not all can participate sometimes. These were good lessons learned on the job as the Head of School.

There were many highlights from the day. Shaking hands as students entered the back door in the morning was great, even though it was so cold. Teaching PE class was fun. I was also allowed to have a cup of tea while I handed out the birthday stickers. We even learned that we had a student’s birthday listed wrong. So we made the correction. Skipping my classes was fun and having lunch with my friends was great as well.

The biggest challenge I faced was that everyone asked me questions. I think I had received over 100 questions by 11am. The hardest questions were the ones where people asked for certain privileges. I think this is why I learned that it is important to learn to say “no” at times.

Overall, it was a great day. I would recommend that other students should try to be the Head of School for the day. Just remember to smile a lot in this job.

– Garrick P.

Dig a Well to Increase Enrollment

A few years back, The Woods Academy established a partnership with Hotcourses Primary School in Kenya and we began an academic and cultural exchange between our 3rd-5th grade students. It has been a wonderful partnership that has evolved to now include service work and social understanding throughout the region with Nyumbani Village and the Maasai Village. The partnership is so powerful because our two schools, along with the village and orphanage, manage the relationship in a manner that brings tremendous value to all, especially this week.

Justus Mwaka Musia, our main point of contact in Kenya, was just in the states for a visit and came to spend the day at The Woods Academy, meeting with students, staff and me. Justus is an amazing man who serves his people so well and shares with us the impact of the relationship when he visits. It is always great to have Justus on campus. This particular visit hit me hard.

Last spring, our school and student led service club committed to a water project for the people of the Maasai Village and the Maasai Pastoral Community Development Alliance (PCDA). We raised funds so that a well could be dug and clean water could be accessed by the community and the school on site. In our conversation the other day, Justus reported the water project was a success and that enrollment at the school in the village increased due to the access to water. Justus was greatful for our support and almost mater-of-factly reported on the increased enrollment in school due to water. Did he say that enrollment went up simply because of water?

Independent schools are spending hours upon hours on complex marketing plans and committing a tremendous amount of money and resources to find ways to increase or stabilize enrollment numbers. PCDA just needed water to get there. Perspective was not something lost on me here. Water, the most basic life necessity, is the reason for the enrollment increase at the school in the village. Of course it is. Water leads to growth. It was a pretty powerful moment when Justus shared this and I immediately began thinking of “what else can we do” to help get more kids to school at PCDA. We must do more.

By providing good and clean access to water it is allowing for more to be educated in this village. Our work with Justus and the village is showing us the power of simple necessities. Water opened my eyes to the work we are doing in Kenya and the ways in which we can truly make a difference with our efforts to provide a simple necessity like water. In a world where schools are competing with technology and state of the art facilities to grow enrollment, PCDA is accomplishing it with water. Simple, powerful and so refreshing.