GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls principal is taking what he has learned from the school hallways and applying it to a children’s book.
Lincoln Elementary School Principal Jon Konen is releasing his book, “Benjamin’s Visit to Principal Reads’s Office – Again,” on Saturday.
“I wanted the book not only for kids to read but kind of a second layer to being able to have parents, educators and principals to be able to use the strategies in the book,” Konen said.
The book is about a student who gets in trouble and earns a trip to the principal’s office.
It goes through 16 different strategies that a principal, administrator or educator can use to handle a situation in a positive manner.
“I had great principals throughout my school. My first principal when I was a teacher at Lakeside, he really connected with kids, and I really wanted to do what he was doing,” Konen said.
A few strategies he uses day to day are positive phone calls home and keeping the students active so they do not get distracted during class time.
“Especially right now with the indoor recess, getting a student up and moving every couple of minutes helps them be able to regulate a little more than just having to sit at a desk all day,” Konen said. “Positive phone calls home. That’s one of my favorite ones to do. A lot of times parents are completely astonished that the principal is calling to not call about bad stuff that is happening. But a positive specific praise that they did in school.”
The book is geared toward second and third graders but can also be used as a resource for adults.
“It’s a celebration of principals. A lot of time people think about their principals that they had back in school and the job has changed tremendously in the last 10 years. There’s so many different types of responsibilities that we are trying to help support students with,” Konen said.
Konen recalled his time in the principal’s office as a student.
“My mom was a teacher, it was kind of interesting that my mom knew about me getting in the office before I even got home,” Konen said.
Konen is from Fort Benton. His passion for kids comes from his experiences with his peers.
“I spent a lot of time in the principal’s office, and I kind of decided I wanted to be a principal. I wanted to do something a little bit different to be able to work with kids on being able to keep them into class more,” Konen said.
Konen invites the community to his book release party on Saturday.
If you wish to purchase the book, you can do so by visiting Barnes & Nobles or Amazon.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News