@principal_lamb This past year I abandoned my office in favor of a rolling cart. Here’s the origin story of how it all started. I love the increased visibility that life without an office provides me. I’m more attuned to the pulse of my school. Working from a cart allows me to provide stronger teacher customer service. And teachers deserve the best possible customer service! I’ll never go back to the office. Not only am I sticking with my cart, my team has big plans for their carts in 23-24! For real-time updates about what I’m up to, check out my Instagram @principal_lamb! #principalsoftiktok #teachersoftiktok #educatorsoftiktok #school ♬ original sound – Mr.Lamb
With working from home and hybrid working becoming increasingly more common, it seems as though fewer professionals are opting for a classic office space. One principal in Louisiana has also rid himself of a traditional office and opted for something a bit more unconventional. Rather than call students and faculty to his office, Principal Lamb of BASIS Baton Rouge Mattera Charter School prefers to travel down the hallways and from classroom to classroom with the aid of a rolling cart.
He had the idea to provide a mobile service after working under an assistant principal who kept their desk in the hallway. “I loved her visibility,” Lamb says in a TikTok video. Inspired by this way of thinking, he adopted a similar method, using a rolling cart to carry necessary supplies, which he could also use to roam from place to place. “How am I supporting teachers and students if I’m sitting behind a desk all day?” Lamb adds. “I spend my days rolling the hallways, rolling into classrooms, and providing teacher customer service.”
One of the reasons behind Lamb's hands-on principal style is his concern over teacher shortages. “Every morning I do rounds. I’m just checking in to see how the teachers are doing and how I can help. Do they need an emergency restroom break? Can I grab some photocopies? The small things can go a long way,” he explains. Louisiana, where BASIS Baton Rouge Mattera Charter School is based, saw one of the highest educator turnovers in the past 10 years. However, at Lamb's school, they boasted a 90% teacher retention rate. “It’s on us to make sure our teachers get the highest quality support,” he writes.
However, while Lamb's mobile desk has shown good results, not everyone online agrees with the method. “It isn't the cart, it's the fact that you ask if they need assistance,” one person comments. “Teachers often feel under the microscope when the admin walks in, not supported.” Others also mentioned that seeing a principal visiting their classroom frequently and potentially micromanaging would increase their stress. Despite this, Lamb feels confident in his methods. “I'm not saying my style is best, I'm just saying it's had a positive impact at my school,” he says. “Overall, I've found the responses have been more positive than negative.”
While there are many who disagree with Lamb's rolling desk, there are just as many who are thrilled with the idea. “Love this!” says one enthusiastic supporter. “Building rapport between teachers and administrators is huge and once patterns are found in responses, it can be an unbelievable help to give teachers the help and support they need and deserve.”
Jared Lamb is the principal of BASIS Baton Rouge Mattera Charter School in Louisiana.
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Instead of calling children to his office, he has a more unorthodox approach.
@principal_lamb I spent the entire school year without an office. And here’s why it was the best decision. #principalsoftiktok #teachersoftiktok #educatorsoftiktok #batonrouge ♬ original sound – Mr.Lamb
Principal Lamb has a rolling cart desk, which he uses to roam the school.
@principal_lamb Kindergarten students love spilling the tea. #teacherhumor #teachersoftiktok #kindergarten ♬ money trees – ✮
“How am I supporting teachers and students if I’m sitting behind a desk all day?” he says.
@principal_lamb Here’s how I spend the first 90 minutes of my day each morning. #principalcarts #principalsoftiktok #teachersoftiktok #educatorsoftiktok #education #schoollife #batonrouge ♬ original sound – Mr.Lamb