Narrative of A White Middle Class Male School Principal: An Apologia

Narrative of A White Middle Class Male School Principal: An Apologia

Dr. Jim Lane's proposal was recently accepted as a book chapter in an upcoming book to be published by Information Age entitled I Am What I Become – Constructing an Identity as a Lifelong Learner.  His abstract follows:

In her poem “Delta” Adrienne Rich observes, “If you think you can grasp me, think again:  my story flows in more than one direction.” This is an autoethnographic narrative by a white, middle class male former school principal. Please, don’t stop reading! My life wound through a labyrinth of emotional travails in which my mother died and my father faced prison, then entered two contentious marriages and brought his business crashing down upon us all.  I apply the prisms of care, critique, and justice to trace the process of my perpetual becoming through emotional traumas and ethical dilemmas.   I describe how I applied deep reflection to discover and refine my moral purpose as a principal working with students within marginalized groups and the teachers who served them. The narrative traces my circuitous path to the principalship of a high-poverty school, high-minority school, encountering many challenges for which I was grossly unprepared:  the decapitation death of a student; a teacher addicted to prescription drugs; teachers of disabled students wrapped in a sexual tryst; racial discrimination; deportation of an undocumented Mexican father; a band director having sex with a student. Those events and many others caused remarkable pain and deep examination of my moral beliefs. I brought the range of my personal and professional background together to understand what I believed about myself and my work.  John Dewey observed, “Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.”  That is the story I propose to tell.