Principal behaving badly videos a hit

WHEN school principal John O'Brien started making entertaining videos for students during lockdown he had no idea how they would be received.

His 'principal behaving badly' short films have delighted the St Mary's Primary School community in Casino.

We caught up with Mr O'Brien between his online shenanigans.

How do you feel about the title of being the state's coolest principal?

I'm definitely not the coolest principal on the North Coast. I think Mr Shaun Piccoli from Tabulam Public school holds that title. Have you seen his sunglasses and his long sleeve fishing shirts?

How do you come up with ideas for your videos?

My mind is always ticking over with how we can connect with kids and let them know they are very much loved and truly belong.

I wanted to be original and create little scenarios that would have our kids and families laughing and engaging.

I love playing the 'clown' to bring enjoyment to our kids and coming up with imaginative ideas like these videos and designing playgrounds etc.

What initiated the idea of the videos?

I wanted to put important messages out to our students without being so serious ensuring they saw how relaxed I was with everything going on and how proud I was of them for trying their best during this time.

Our role as educators is such an important and serious one … we just don't have to take ourselves so seriously.

Will you continue once school is back?

I think I will tone it down a little as I am just keen to help our kids out with their reading, writing and maths.

I also still want to ensure they are having fun and their wellbeing is very much being looked after so I think I will be very happy to do this in their presence without the need to put it on Facebook.