Principals switch positions

Angelica Co, Staff Writer

With the hope of learning the methods for teaching different levels of education, Viking principal Mr. Houts swapped places with Gallatin Elementary School’s resident principal Dr. Bertsch.

Switching places had not originally been the central focus of the principals’ discussion. Mr. Houts and Dr. Bertsch had been planning on employing a few Viking students for the creation of a garden at Gallatin. During the course of the conversation, Mr. Houts suggested the idea of switching jobs for a day.

“I wanted to see how teachers are in Gallatin and see what instruction is being given to students,” Mr. Houts said.

Senior Katie Medina escorted Dr. Bertsch around campus. Together, they visited various classrooms and observed the high school teachers’ methods of instruction.

“It was a lot of fun. There wasn’t a lot of interaction with the students, but we visited a lot of hands-on classes,” Medina said.

During Dr. Bertsch’s visit, she became aware of the similarities between high school and elementary school teachers.

“I had the opportunity to visit classrooms, do supervision, and visit teachers’ meeting about instruction. I learned that high school teachers use many of the same strategies that elementary teachers use to teach,” Dr. Bertsch said.

High school is often seen as entirely different level of education compared to the lower school levels. Through their experiement, Mr. Houts and Dr. Bertsch were able to discern the resemblance between high school and elementary school.

“I noticed that the teachers in both schools have the objective written in every classroom, and they use the same teaching techniques,” Mr. Houts said.

The foremost important element of any school, however, is the students. Surely, the students in both schools differ in countless ways. The Vikings’ principal was surprised to see the amount of energy elementary students possess compared to his calm high school students.

“The students in Gallatin are full of energy. They always want to please their teachers and show how smart they are,” Mr. Houts said.

The Grizzlies welcomed Mr. Houts with much enthusiasm.

“I was treated like a rockstar; all the students wanted to talk to me,” Mr. Houts said.

Mr. Houts also plans to switch places with one of the middle school principals—either East Middle School or Sussman Middle School. Such an experience would allow the Viking principal to gain knowledge on the education students are receiving before they enter the vibrant environment of high school.