Day in the Life: Chandler’s all about students
By Amaris Arroyave
Dedicated to being involved with the school community, Principal Chris Chandler is always on the move at Nation Ford. From directing traffic in the morning car rider line to monitoring lunch in the Commons, and even passing in the halls, Chandler is a hard person to miss.
His day in the building starts at 7:30 A.M.
“I usually will start my day by catching up on any of the last emails I need to catch up on from what I missed throughout the night,” Chandler says. “Then, I’ll head out to the car rider line and try to get that moving.”
After directing drivers in the car rider lines, Chandler heads back inside to make morning announcements if needed. Once the bells have rung for first block, then the real work begins.
Although Mondays and Thursdays come with a somewhat more foreseeable schedule, Fridays are a bit different. “Fridays are never going to be a typical day because we have admin meetings in the mornings, which do last a little while, and so it does throw the day off a little bit,” Chandler said.
During these admin meetings, which typically start in the morning and go into early second block, Chandler and all of the assistant principals come together to discuss what is working and what isn’t, and ways to make the school better overall.
“We are deeply concerned about our students, and we want our students to be successful,” Chandler said. “Sometimes it’s easy [for students] to think ‘Oh they really don’t care about us, or he says it, but he doesn’t mean it’ but we talk about those types of things, and we do worry about our students.”
After the Admin meeting, Chandler had some time to walk in the halls to interact with students. From friendly greetings to checking up on student’s day, Chandler makes an effort to talk to as many students as he can.
Students aren’t the only people in the school building who are consistently learning. Chandler and all of the assistant principals participate in a book study where they all read the same book about teaching to analyze and discuss the content of the book.
“We’re doing a book study to try and get better, and to try and learn different things we can do to help our teachers, who can then help our students,” Chandler said.
After this book study, it was time for lunch.
“The other really rewarding part [about being a principal] is generally in the Commons at lunch,” Chandler said. “Just being able to talk to students is one of the absolute highlights of the day.”
Chandler makes it a goal to walk around the Commons and try to get to know and introduce himself to students whenever he can.
On Fridays during fourth block, NAFO TV will produce “Chandler Weekly,” a segment where Chandler recaps events of the week and gives shout-outs to students or groups of students who have accomplished great things.
Just before FLEX, Chandler will go back to the car rider line and try to direct cars during that time. “That ends probably around 3:20, and then I head into the commons to help monitor for FLEX,” he said.
With the new FLEX schedule allowing students to use the Commons as a study hall, it’s helpful to have as many hands on deck as possible to keep watch on students.
At the end of the school day, many students begin to load onto the buses.
“Usually all students are off campus by about 4:00 p.m.,” Chandler says. “Then I spend the next 30 minutes to an hour just trying to catch up on anything that I missed throughout the day.”
Usually, Chandler leaves the school building around 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, if after-school activities are happening, this time might change.
“If there’s an athletic event I may be here longer that day, and I might just stay,” Chandler said.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly Chandler’s schedule for the day because a day in the life of a principal is unpredictable and constantly changing.
“I find that my day is either one of two things: it’s either very busy, with so much stuff going on I can barely breathe, or it’s the opposite, where there’s not a whole lot going on and I can sit down and get caught up on stuff,” Chandler said.