Friday, August 28, 2015

10 Supports New Principals Need from Teachers

Master schedule, discipline plans, parent concerns, lesson plans, formative assessment, lunch duty, and RtI.  Every principal is grappling with the fact that starting school successfully is always a challenge, but new principals to the profession or a new school spend the first month not only struggling with these concepts, but how to effectively lead people in the school.  When I first jumped into the principalship, I learned quickly just how little I really knew.  School success is directly related to the leadership ability of the principal, and if the new principal doesn't develop his leadership skill-set immediately, he will lead the campus over the cliff into oblivion.

So what do new principals need to successfully lead their campus?  To be honest, they need leadership from their teachers as much as they need it from their superintendent.  As a new principal, I overcame my leadership deficits by relying on the teachers that I worked with.  By being open and willing to learn from my fellow principal, my superintendent and my teachers, my leadership grew tremendously.

10 Supports Teachers can provide their New Principal Right Now 

New principals need to feel the support from their teachers, and they need to know that they have your support in leading the school.

Being inexperienced and at a new school can be downright overwhelming.  Principals new to the profession need lots of encouragement, especially at the beginning of the year.

We were all inexperienced once, and we looked for support from patient people.  By helping your principal, you actually help yourself.

Principals need the cold hard truth especially if their actions are leading the campus backwards.  Principals who want to improve appreciate it when they receive direct feedback from their teachers.

Teachers aren't the only ones that need expectations.  Principals need them too.  This link will give your principal a great strategy to get their expectations from teachers without asking for them.

Principals need pats on the back just as much as teachers do.  Some of the best recognition I ever received came from teachers who took the time to tell me what a good job I was doing and how my good job helped them. Recognition reinforces effective leadership behaviors.

Inexperienced leaders lead the same way they like to be led and new principals revert to their preferred leadership strategy, but that doesn't always help all people in the building.  Principals need leadership lessons, and the best lessons come from conversations with teachers who want to help their principal get better.

Laughter lightens the load, and principals can be loaded down with lots of stress.  Take time to crack a joke and make your principal laugh.  When they are at their wit's end, remind him or her that it could always be worse, and then insert your favorite joke.

Leaders don't know everything, but they're expected to.  The only way that they can lead the entire organization to excellence is if you provide them with your insight.  Your insight may just be the expertise they are lacking.

Point of View
New leaders always lead from their perspective, not necessarily from the reality of the situation.  Show them your point of view as it helps principals gain the right perspective to lead effectively.

New Principals Need LEADERSHIP Too!!!
You are the key to helping your principal.  Sure, they may not do everything you want them to do, but you can influence them in the right direction.  They will make mistakes, but hey, what principal doesn't make mistakes?  If you want your year to be successful, you owe it to your principal to give him or her your honest feedback and support.  In the end, when they're a better leader, it will make you even better in your classroom.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the timely blog post. I am going to share it among my teammates. Embracing change, offering support, sharing needs with a positive voice, and rooting for your principal's success is part of being a community with a growth mindset.