Administration Returns to Teaching Roots

Principal Brill and vice principals take turns subbing in classes

Jack Tessier, Features Editor

Students in Mr. Early’s Agricultural Machinery class walked in to a surprising sight. Instead of Mr. Early, they saw Principal Meaghan Brill, ready to teach.
The administration have recently been getting back in the classroom by substituting for teachers. They each teach in the discipline that they specialized in when they taught. Mrs. Brill subbed an entire day for Mr. Early’s AG classes when he was out for a field trip. She created lesson plans, ate lunch with teachers and remembered what it was like to work with students. While the idea is new to this school, the concept isn’t new and has been a positive experience in other school district, according to Brill, who decided to bring it here.
By stepping into the shoes of a teacher, the administrators get a chance to experience again what it’s like to teach in the classroom.
Brill really enjoyed the experience of subbing. “By trade, we are all teachers, so this presents a great opportunity to get back to our ‘craft’ and remember exactly what it’s like to be in a classroom and work with students,” Brill said. “This experience allows us to remain connected to both our staff and students.”
Vice Principal Mark Malloy, who has a history degree and taught the subject for over ten years, subbed for Mr. Kuzma’s history classes. “I really enjoyed connecting with the students at KR in a different way and loved being back in the classroom,” Malloy said. “I hope the students saw me in a different way too.”
Vice Principal Lashonda Reed, who is also a certified Special Education teacher, subbed for Mrs. Tobin. “Subbing can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the content, the students, or the teacher’s expectations,” Reed said. “I was fortunate to know the students and the teacher already, but I felt I struggled with the delivery of the lesson because I was unfamiliar with the flow of the materials. Nevertheless, I just rolled with the punches and made adjustments, as needed.”
Even the principal and vice principals need to prepare when stepping into their teacher shoes. Preparations included dialoguing with the teacher beforehand and having a clear understanding of where the class was.
Malloy even used some of the tools he used when he taught for over 10 years.
“I talked with Mr. Kuzma to see if there was a specific standard or topic he wanted me to cover,” Malloy said. “He told me where he was, but told me that I could pretty much teach whatever I wanted. I went through some of my materials, powerpoints, and primary sources that I used when I taught US/VA History.”
Brill wanted to fully lean into being a teacher again, and that meant doing everything the teachers do all day.
“I wanted to fully experience this day as a teacher would, so I did all of my own lesson planning, copying, printing of rosters, and everything else required of a teacher,” Brill said.
While stepping into a class to substitute can be intimidating, all the administration were more than qualified to take over. Vice Principal Linda Lee, who hopes to sub for P.E. soon, feels like she still teaches every day.
“What we do is teach every day, just in a different way than in a classroom,” Lee explained.
Nevertheless, the administrators will continue to take on different substitute teaching positions throughout the year.

Principal Meaghan Brill steps away from her usual schedule to sub Intro to Natural Resources