“Principal for a Day”, an annual event hosted by Knoxville County Schools in Knoxville, Tennessee, introduces local businesses and organizations to schools within the county. The event forges relationships between businesses and the educational community, creating a dialogue and understanding of what the school system needs with hopes of establishing long lasting, sustainable relationships to create brighter futures for students.
Historically principals have served and continue to serve in a multifaceted role as the connection between the central education office and the classroom. Wearer of many hats, principals maneuver meandering education politics to foster growth and realize value within their respective schools.
The role of a principal is no small feat. The early-rising multitaskers are among the first to arrive at school in preparation for the day ahead. Between managing staff, students, and sometimes parents, principals hold several responsibilities, many of which require meticulous time management, staff development, interpersonal skills and strong communication.
Some principals make the job look easy, creating a false sense of “anybody can be a principal”; a perception we discourage. A principal is the guiding light for a school, but the rigorous workload and responsibility is not for the faint of heart. Up for the task to be “principal for a day” and to find out what the position entails, Local Motors Regional Marketing Manager, Nikki Jones was on the scene for a crash course in “principaling”.
Upon arrival at Chilhowee Intermediate School, Nikki was greeted by Assistant Principal Tara Howell-Spikes. The day began with a tour of the school, including several stops in classrooms along the way.
Chilhowee is an Intermediate School located in rural East Knoxville with a diverse student population of 189 students. Serving students in grades 3 – 5, Chilhowee provides a myriad of resources, including family resources and after school programs.
The school’s curriculum focuses on humanities, math, social studies, reading and science. There’s also a technology class offering STEM opportunities for students to learn coding and robotics skills, which we love!
Nikki spent the morning visiting classes for a glimpse into instruction and learning paths of students. She received a lesson on coding from talented fifth graders, as well as watching problem-solving by enthusiastic math wizards. Of further interest was the one-on-one time teachers gave to students requiring additional support; students were able to hone in on subjects to refine their skills.
The time and patience invested in students is beyond commendable. The diligent work of teachers and principals is often overlooked, but they provide an insurmountable value to our future leaders. “Being a principal for a day was an insightful and enlightening experience, but in no way compares to the hard work educators put in everyday to shape the lives of students”, says Nikki.
Local Motors is honored to have participated in such a quintessential experience and hope we can further assist students by continuing to develop groundbreaking technology and show the possibilities of tomorrow.
For more information about Chilhowee Intermediate School, click here to explore their site.