Principal Johnson: Asking a principal for advice

Its been a while since I’ve done a real post. These last 6 weeks have been kind of crazy. I’ve been in NYC for about 3 weeks, and tomorrow marks the second full week of full time grad classes.

During our fellowship orientation we got a visit from an amazing school principal and NYCTF alum. He came to welcome us fellows, give us a true picture of the NYC education landscape, and real ways we could make an impact at our schools as new special education teachers. Homie had a line, about 20 people deep to speak to him after he finished his comments. So, I decided to send him an email to see what type of tips/suggestions he would give to someone like me.


Now I’ve done this a few times before… to a few men I’ve met professionally and I’ve never gotten a reply. Regardless of if this gets a reply or not, when I become an old head – No excuses, I always have to reply when a new dude comes on the scene and reaches out to me for advice.

– – – – – – –

Hello Principal Johnson,

My name is … I was in attendance when you spoke to LIU’s Teaching Fellows cohort last week. It was a pleasure having you speak to us. I took a lot of what you said to heart. A few things I pulled from my notes are:

  • As special educators it is our job to show our children different ways to access their academic knowledge
  • Asking your teachers to continue to grow and stretch themselves, similar to the ways we ask our students
  • Refusing to give your misbehaving seniors public praise, but celebrating them privately for taking care of their academics

I’m a recent transplant to NYC from Boston. Week two of the fellowship has been challenging, frustrating, exhausting, and most of all fulfilling. As you can assume I’m new to being a teacher. I was wondering if you could give me some incite on how I can keep my idealism, and goal to change the way our children grow up thinking about themselves and their possibilities. I completely understand that you’re busy with your school, your research, etc… None the less, as your schedule permits, I would really be honored to receive a piece of your feedback as I begin this journey.


Thanks in advance,

PS: I’m really inspired by your story, and hope that one day I can be able to have a similar impact in our urban communities

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