THE PRINCIPAL FOCUSES ON PUPIL GROWTH
In culturally disadvantaged communities, the school in many cases becomes a major element in providing emotional security for children. Here again the principal by example and orientation determines the school’s attitude toward children. He must set in motion the kind of school program in which pupils can receive satisfactions in a variety of ways, in which pupils feel a real stake in the school
Guiding pupils to put forth the consistent effort that learning requires is a signal task facing community schools. Providing a program in which children have many opportunities to develop interest and talents, where cognizance is taken of realistic expectations, and where the value of positive award is understood, would seem to offer the best chance for optimum pupil learning. The school then becomes truly significant in the lives of the children.
How a principal and staff work toward these goals will differ among schools, depending on the particular circumstances. Some essential ingredients would include: (1) consideration of individual learning needs as much as is feasible;(2) providing for a host of extra-class activities based on pupil interests, and (3) utilization of school and community resources beyond the normal school day.
Providing opportunities for status building activities is achieved through the schoolwide program. The perceptive administrator recognizes the value of encouraging special interest clubs, a school newspaper, patrol, monitor and play leader groups, student council activities, and assembly programs. Such varied activities enable pupils to gain recognition and assume leadership roles./ Moreover, such activities if properly directed develop a strong identification among both pupils and staff.
The school is by no means the only resource for needed enrichment. The principal should know the community centers, settlement houses, park district and other community agencies that conduct programs for young people. Through inter-agency cooperation, he should be able to guide pupils into worthwhile after school activities.
— oOo— The author is Head Teacher III and School Head of San Jose High School Floridablanca, Pampanga