This morning I was making the rounds through classrooms and chatting with students about their day. It is my favorite part of the job as the principal of a primary school.
We live in a small community in southern Germany and we have a closely knit family within our young school. A young school demands a lot of energy and everyone wears multiple hats. So it is incredibly important to keep your focus on what is the most important…the kids.
As I was wandering through the school I heard music and laughter coming from our multi-purpose room. It was inviting and it encouraged me to follow the sound down the hallway. As I approached the energy was bounding through the door.
I was stopped by my mobile phone alerting me to a meeting that was scheduled in five minutes. Normally I would go back to my office and gather my materials for the meeting. This time I decided it could wait.
Ten four-year-olds were in front of me grinning from ear to ear. I asked what they were doing and they invited me into the room. It was time to dance they said! The teachers asked if I would like to join in the fun. I knew that I might be few minutes late to my meeting and hesitated for just a moment. This wasn’t (or shouldn’t be) a difficult decision.
The teachers in the room had a mischievous grin on their faces as I told them I’d like to play too.
Some music started playing with a techno-beat that was incredibly fast paced. I was worried.
“You put your right hand in….you put your right hand out…”
Before I knew it I was doing the Hokey Pokey with my preschool class and happiness filled the room as the lyrics went faster and faster with each refrain. “You put your left leg in …you put your left leg out…”
We giggled, we danced, we spun around! Faster and faster until we could hardly keep up!
At the end of the song we gave each other applause and giggled together once more and tried to catch our breath!
It took exactly five minutes. Five minutes that could have been spent in my office gathering spreadsheets or answering an email. Instead it was precious time spent with amazing children and teachers. This is the purpose of what we do. I encourage all stakeholders in schools; principals, heads of school, office staff…everyone – DANCE, SING and LAUGH with the children. You won’t regret it. Turn yourself around.
“That’s what it’s all about.”