Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Principal on Deck

It was another busy morning at Andeok Middle-High School. Most of the teachers were working away on their computers or at their desks. Little did they notice the Principal suddenly materialize into the Teacher’s Lounge. It sounded like he was giving orders to the Vice Principal across the room. Young-hee translated his words for me:

“Why are some of the teachers late? I thought I told you to record their arrival times. Report the latecomers to me. Make sure the teachers are in their homeroom fifteen minutes before the class starts to get their students under control…and the school is dirty. Have the students clean the inside of the school and out. I also want all of the leaves cleared from the yard.

So, the Vice Principal apologetically announced the Principal’s wishes to all of the teachers, and everyone busily gathered their papers and materials together, preparing for an early start to each of their morning classes 


The Principal’s entrances are always mystifying…it’s like he appears out of thin air. His presence is terrifying… You can’t tell if he’s just observing you or critiquing you. His departure is a relief…you don’t have to keep a lookout over your shoulder.

One of the high school teachers couldn’t make it to even one of my teachers’ classes, because she had spent the entire morning cleaning and raking the autumn leaves in the front and back yards of the school. In this cold temperature, she told me during lunch that she and her students were freezing like popsicles outside.

Towards the end of the day, the Principal, once again, returned to the Teacher’s Lounge. He carefully inspected the items on everyone’s desks, and snacked on whatever food or drink was left exposed on them. With his final comment, “Young-hee, why is that computer turned on? There’s no one sitting there.”

“She’s teaching at this time, sir.”

“Is it the desk of one of the teachers who was late this morning?”

I didn’t want to get involved somehow, so I left, out the door, quickly relieving myself from the tornado that was the Principal.

- Jess

1 comment:

  1. I would leave quietly as well. He sounds like an unhappy dude..Does he have enough apples in his diet?