FOR any pupil who has dreamed of being in charge of their school, Student Principal For a Day might seem like a dream gig.
However, be warned - being principal is a lot harder than it looks!
It’s especially the case at schools like Wolumla Public School where Carolyn Nugent is a teaching-principal and must take a class as well as being the face of the school and head administrator.
Student Principal for a Day is an initiative of the Principals of Australia Institute open to primary and secondary schools, and is designed to “unleash and inspire leadership in students across Australia”.
On Monday, Year 5 pupil Ben Stewart stepped into Ms Nugent’s role, taking the assembly, meeting with the P&C, visiting classrooms and doing playground duty.
Ben, who was referred to as “Mr Stewart” for the day, wore casual clothes in lieu of a school uniform and his best air of authority.
“This is fantastic for himself and all the children,” Year 2/3 teacher Sue Jennings said.
“Ben is the epitome of a role model and many of the kids look up to him, and I can tell he is taking his role very seriously today.”
In Ms Jennings’s class, Ben assisted with a maths lesson where the children were learning addition with a game of circle champion and subtraction with open number line calculations.
At assembly he spoke with pupils about respect for school property after some sporting equipment was left out over the weekend, which he admitted was “a little nerve-wracking”.
“Playground duty was easier, everyone just wanted to talk to me, I enjoyed that,” he said.
“It’s been nice to help out in the classrooms, and I’m looking forward to going to Year 4/5/6 later today.
“I like doing this, but I think Mrs Nugent has a tough job!”
Ms Nugent, who unfortunately didn’t get the day off as part of the program, said it aimed to inspire leadership qualities in all of the pupils.
“Wolumla Public School values this kind of opportunity for our students to really get a taste of leadership responsibilities,” she said.
“Ben had a fun-filled day, although he was surprised about how busy the teaching-principal’s job really is.”