John Crall looks forward to upcoming administrative position at AL


A behaviorally challenged student begins to eat lunch with his teacher. Hopeful to embrace a learning opportunity, teacher John Crall takes out his lunch; leftovers from a restaurant he had been anticipating enjoying all day. 

Despite Crall’s hope for improvement in the student’s behavior, the student destroys Crall’s lunch. To top it all off, the student disregards of his banana peel by throwing it over his head, and the peel lands squarely on Crall’s head.

In this instance, many teachers would take it upon themselves to become angry with the student. Instead, Crall just laughs.

This sympathetic, “curious over furious” method in handling behavioral issues is one that has been effective for John Crall and is a strategy he foresees continuing to use as he begins his administrative position at AL in the 2022-2023 school year.

“You don’t want to just punish people, that doesn’t actually influence behavior,” Crall said. “You want to figure out what was the cause of that, usually that comes in the form of love and support.”

It is no secret that Abraham Lincoln has dealt with some challenging behaviors, as does every school. Crall believes the most effective way to approach this is not by attacking behavior, but rather by establishing strong relationships.

“I recognize that everyone, adults, and students, do the best they can, most people who are having those challenging behaviors don’t mean to,” Crall said. “It’s important to start building a relationship with those people and connecting with them first.”

Crall doesn’t just want to connect with students like him though, he wishes to build relationships with every student at AL.

“I want everyone, regardless of their background, to be comfortable coming to me and believe and trust that they will be treated with dignity and respect,” Crall said. “I’m committed to protecting people that I see as being underrepresented.”

It isn’t just students that Crall wishes to connect with. He also is able to see the importance of an administrative team that can work together in an impactful way.

“I want to make sure I am gelling with the other administrators,” said Crall. “The best thing I can do is to start building relationships with both the adults (the admin and the staff), the students.”

Although administrators have a sort of authority over teachers, Crall will not abuse his power in any way, and rather sees teachers as an equal to him.

“I want teachers to be comfortable with me there, and see me as someone who is there to help, support, and enhance their work rather than catching them making a mistake,” said Crall. “I want them to be comfortable enough and trust me enough to be vulnerable.”

Vulnerability is not only essential between administrators and teachers, but between students as well.

Although Crall will become the tallest administrator at AL at a height of 6’7”, and he recognizes that his appearance can be intimidating, that does not discount his wish to not fear allowing emotion to influence his choices in the new position.

I recognize the importance of a big strong guy with a beard that is not afraid to cry. That vulnerability I think is important, when you’re really passionate about things, it’s okay to let them affect you emotionally,” said Crall. “It’s hard work being a teacher and educator, and even a student, emotion is sometimes the fuel that pushes us past our limits and helps us grow.”

With Council Bluffs being the first city Crall will reside in outside of his hometown, he looks forward to becoming a part of the community at AL.

“I feel like of like a kid going to camp that is excited about making new friends,” said Crall. “I’m really excited about that.”