Who is Principal Gerry Brooks?
Gerry Brooks, education celebrity, has gone from principal of an elementary school in Kentucky to an Internet star. He has garnered millions of followers on social media with his folksy, hilarious videos, usually shot in the front seat of his car.
About 6 years ago, Principal Gerry uploaded his first YouTube video, and subsequently has added over 180 videos to his channel that has amassed over 102,500 subscribers.
Principal Gerry is a veteran whose experience includes six years in the classroom, two years as an intervention specialist, and 12 years as an administrator.
An inspirational speaker, he has spoken to educational groups all around the nation. His focus is on encouraging teachers to improve their instruction through personal climate and culture strategies. He desires to help administrators focus on how to lead all staff in a positive and constructive manner.
ThinkFives found the Top 5 most popular videos from Principal Gerry so that those new to his channel can sample his wisdom and humor.
First Week of School Stress
The first week of school can be stressful for students, parents and teachers alike – new assignments, new faces, new resources and maybe even new administrators. This is particularly true when you’re teaching the youngest of the young, kindergarten.
But don’t worry, in this video Principal Gerry has great advice for early childhood teachers – advice that may ring true for high school educators as well.
Advice From Principal Gerry
- “The most stressful part of the first week of school is the kindergarten lunchroom duty. Can you imagine getting kindergarten kids who have never eaten lunch in a big room together – they are all over the place and chaotic.”
- “Kids say random stuff that I don’t know how to respond to.”
- “Some parents let their kids bring ‘lunchables’ lunch sets, and the kids would ask me to help open all the small packets for them.”
- “When kindergarten kids talk, they ‘um… um… um…’ a lot and I have to wait patiently until they finally say something.”
- “Kindergarten kids want to be your best friend, but everything they’re interested in is too trivial and you’re too busy taking care of them.”
Staff Bathrooms Etiquette
It’s a subject that few teachers or administrators will take on, but that doesn’t stop Principal Gerry. Staff bathroom etiquette can be a problem in schools and businesses. In a school we have dozens or even hundreds of professionals all needing to use the facilities sometimes in the 10 minute breaks between classes.
In this video, Principal Gerry offers some very sound and practical advice.
Advice From Principal Gerry
- “Use the lock. Make sure you hear the click when locking the door, that means the door is successfully locked.”
- “If there’s separate bathrooms (men & women’s), don’t yell at the men when there’s a line in the women’s bathroom. Also, (to women,) don’t try to sneak into the men’s bathroom. (It’s gross.)”
- “For all gender bathrooms, don’t just decorate the bathrooms with lace and flowers. Put some “manly objects” so the men feel welcomed.”
- “Air freshener in bathrooms doesn’t make the air fresher. Don’t over-spray, it just makes things worse.”
- “Don’t come to school after having a lot of tacos. (after Taco Tuesday)”
Principal Snow Day
Do you ever wonder what a principal does on a snow day?
While normally a principal’s job is seldom done and it includes everything from sharing the most erudite academic proclamations to running to the bathroom to clean up a spill. But on a snow day there are no teachers, no students, no problems, and no headaches.
In this video, Principal Gerry captures the secret lives of principals and what they do when no one is watching.
“What do principals do on snow days?” asks Principal Gerry. “We work really hard.”
Snow Day Fun From Principal Gerry
- “Run from classrooms to classrooms.”
- “How about playing tiny basketball in an empty gym?”
- “Check out the band room and play the glockenspiel and drums.”
- “Mix up the books in the library.”
- “Zamboni the hallways!”
Classroom Job Assignments
A good classroom is a well-managed classroom, particularly in these times of COVID – and even as we progress beyond COVID.
This video is dedicated to his students and Principal Gerry humorously asks his students to choose a classroom job assignment so that everyone can be safe and stay healthy.
Health Job Suggestions From Principal Gerry
- “Door nurse: take temperatures of students before they enter the classroom.”
- “Room bouncer: if the student’s body temperature is >98.5°F, the room bouncer has to ask the student to go to the office.”
- “Taste checker: shake either salt or sugar on the student’s tongue. If the student gets it wrong, send them to the office.”
- “CVS Czar: ask students if they had Advil or Motrin or Tylenol (products that bring down a fever). If yes, send them to the office.”
- “Cough counter: count and record when anyone coughs. If a student coughs four times, send them to the office.”
Principal Coupon Book
Dealing with principals can be stressful – and believe it or not in some cases unwanted. While this may be hard to understand for an administrator, a good principal empathizes with the teachers.
Teachers work hard and do deserve a thank you from time to time. But gifts are expensive, so Principal Gerry has crafted a very creative solution – a teacher coupon book.
In this video Principal Gerry suggests coupons that principals can reward the most valued teachers.
Coupon Suggestions From Principal Gerry
- “Get out of my room” – when they don’t want you in their room.
- “How about you do it” – the principal does an assigned task for the teacher.
- “Switcheroonie” – switch out a bad kid from their room for a good kid from your room.
- “Talk to the hand” – you have to stop talking.
- “Sit, smile, listen, and nod” – a principal and teacher meeting where the principal just sits, smiles, listens, and nods no matter what the teacher says.
Do you have a favorite video from Principal Gerry?