What Makes a Good Principal?

banner_good_principalBy Dianne Jackson — Being a teacher can be quite a thankless career.

As I pursue higher education in order to work in administration, I am beginning to see myself on both sides of the table. I never before considered how hard it must be to make decisions and how big and important decisions principals have to make.

However I have worked in schools where everything that I did was overlooked and I felt like I was constantly nit picked for things I allegedly did or ignored all together. Being a person who loves to self reflect, I always tried to revamp lessons, examine my discipline policies and question my actions during the day.

Now I look at situations and I think of me on the other side.

How would the students feel about this policy that I thought was brilliant?
How could I get more parents to attend the after school events?
How would I motivate and push my teachers while keeping the morale up?
How much decision-making would I share and what would I keep to decide myself?
How much emphasis and importance would we put into data?
What would we do as an administration to celebrate important days of the staff and express our condolences?

What I have gathered that people need to truly feel apart of a team. I think teachers also have to have some sort of pressure in order to perform at their absolute best. It could be knowing that you informally observe often or that you monitor the students results in their class and they have to make meaning out of the results. It should be light and supportive but education is high stakes so I would make sure that they do not lose sight of that. I want to also create an atmosphere where students and staff feel that I am personable and truly care.

Is there anything I am forgetting? What makes a good principal?

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