I realize you're probably thinking that this is a rather odd title for my blog, but if you have been reading any of my previous material you'll find that this makes perfect sense. Let me set the stage for you because the title will become clearer. As you might know my main profession is an educator, so as a teacher I have to deal with principals every school day. When it comes to my principles that have been instilled in me or learned over the years, which is a different story that needs more refinement. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines principle as the following: (1) a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions (2) a basic truth or theory: an idea that forms the basis of something. When I started writing this blog my main mission was to enlighten readers with what it’s like to be an adult living with Asperger's Syndrome. With that in mind definition number two is how I approach my blog. It is important to be truthful with my reader's in all my experiences, so that I may hopefully give you the basis of my true identity and how I cope with it. So why the title "Principal vs. Principle", for me it’s because currently this is where the battle lies within myself as a teacher and a person with Asperger's.
In 18 years of teaching, I have been through an astounding 17 different principals (That's not including Vice-Principals). Among those people who have held the position, I can comfortably say that I have had a pretty good rapport with many of them. Of course, there are those few to whom I have had a difficult time with, but haven't we all had a boss or two that didn't quite pan out like you hoped they would. I really believe that most principals want to try to help their teachers to be the best they could be no matter what the obstacles might be; at least that's what I've gotten to experience in the past. At some point, I will be able to go into more detail about the few principals I had a rather 'interesting' time being a teacher with Asperger's.
I'm going to do my best to help tie in or at least break down how principle would apply to my Asperger's or autism awareness. I wish I could say that having Asperger's is a simple principle, but that wouldn't make any sense. Remember the definition that I quoted in the beginning, “a moral rule or belief...a basic truth or theory”; obviously autism can be tested by expert doctors to diagnose the mental workings, so that can be proven as true. I guess in our desire for all people to be mindful of our disability being aware of our autism could be considered a moral rule, belief or at least an understanding. If I were to fight for the principle of having Asperger's I guess I'd really be fighting for my rights to be a citizen or an employee; and not be discriminated. I believe, however, that the principle of my rights is a fallacy. I see this as a right to be who I am and not be judged on my job performance based on my Asperger’s.
Principal versus principle is actually an odd pairing or in this case equivalent when it comes to me as a teacher and having Asperger's. As a teacher, a principal should be a person who is like a good judge; they know how to make proper decisions based on all the information that is given and one who understands the people having their best interest in mind. I always felt like they should lay down the correct punishment that fits the 'crime' and help those who are in need of assistance whether they are students or teachers. That might be asking a lot since I've never walked in their shoes, but I have been a witness to such traits in my teaching career. As for principles, I really believe the word doesn't fit the action or cause. Being autism aware isn't formed around a principle; it's established around enlightenment and equality. Yes...we are not like everyone else, but we still are somebody not a so called "weirdo". So that is something which is far more than a simple 'principle'.
Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:
Artist: Hawk Nelson