IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Brilliant or bad idea? A principal traded in his office for a rolling cart and sparked a debate

“How am I supporting teachers and students if I’m sitting behind a desk all day?”
Principal with a cart
 Principal Jared Lamb traded his office for a desk on wheels. Courtesy Jared Lamb
/ Source: TODAY

Students don’t get sent to principal's office at this school — instead, he comes to them.

Jared Lamb, who is head of BASIS Baton Rouge Mattera Charter School in Louisiana, traded in his office for a cart that acts as a desk on wheels last year and has documented the results. 

“How am I supporting teachers and students if I’m sitting behind a desk all day?” Lamb says, in a viral TikTok video. “I spend my days rolling the hallways, rolling into classrooms and providing teacher customer service.”

In a follow-up clip, Lamb shared that giving up a private workspace has increased his mobility and availability. His office is now a conference room for staff meetings.

“My number one job as an administrator is supporting educators and making sure our campus is a place where they want to stay long term,” Lamb tells “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.”

Lamb notes that what keeps him up at night is "national data around teachers leaving the profession." In March, NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk reported that Maryland and Louisiana saw the highest number of resignations in a decade. In Washington State, it was the highest number in three decades.

But BASIS Baton Rouge Mattera Charter School saw very little turnover.

“We had a 90% teacher retention from last year to this year,” Lamb says. 

Lamb reads the comments on his social media and is aware that not everyone agrees with his method. 

“Something tells me that this would make your staff 10 times more anxious than they already are. Teachers are already micromanaged enough. Probably best to just let them do their job without the principal pacing the hallways,” one person commented. 

A retired teacher called the rolling cart “bull----."

“This is NOT how you support teachers. Walk through the school, pop in to classes for a few minutes to see what’s really going on, have an open door policy that’s communicated to the staff, make them comfortable talking to you & hear/consider what they say,” they wrote. "The cart doesn’t serve a purpose; it’s just show.”

Lamb says he’s simply sharing a strategy that works for him and his team. 

“I’m not saying my style is best, I’m just saying it’s had a positive impact at my school,” he tells “Overall, I’ve found the responses have been more positive than negative.”

"I love that you’re not hiding in your office. Too many administrators do that. Visibility is key to being a leader," one person wrote on Lamb's Instagram.

Added another, "This is brilliant! Not only are you 'present', visible, and readily available to students and staff, but you are also changing the culture of your school’s environment that provides an opportunity for building amazing relationships with students and reducing bullying."

On an average day, Lamb clocks 15,000 steps and gives out roughly 2,000 high-fives and fist bumps, he shares. 

“I’m building a connection with the students,” he says. "I think the highest value work is being present with students and teachers. Offices just set up physical barriers."