5 Tips for Principals

5 tips for principals

Whether you’re in your first year or 50th (we’re looking at you, Mrs. Brennan!) here are some tips for Principals that we hear a lot!

  1. Listen, listen, listen! (not just for 1st years!) Principal Vincent Murray came to his school in the middle of the year. Many principals this year will be in the same boat. He says “By observing, I was able to refine my model and put it into practice. It wasn’t important for me to make changes, plus I did not understand the dynamics of the school. But I was able to slowly implement and actualize all of [my] model during my first few years.” Read more reflections on starting in a new school, from him and two other veteran Principals here: http://www.nassp.org/Portals/0/Content/48249.pdf
  2. State Your Mission! Ben Johnson, a HS Principal himself, writes on edutopia.org “Help the teachers out and just tell them what your direction is. Make it crystal clear in every newsletter, blog, faculty meeting, and message. If this is done well, teachers can actively help the school reach those goals.” Read his tips for Principals here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-perspective-advice-for-principals-ben-johnson
  3. Model Learning! Teachers model for students. You have to do the same, says Bill Carozza, in his advice for principals on connectedprincipals.com. “Be sure that your staff sees you as a learner. When you communicate by written word, include a professional article. Staff meetings should be professional development sessions not informational diatribes. Lift up great practices from your passionate teachers. Reflect the power of social media and web 2.0.” http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/6047
  4. Get Social! (ie: World Wide What??) Students and teachers are more connected than ever. Facebook pages can help schools communicate with parents. Twitter can help administrators grow their own Professional Learning Network, and can help classrooms showcase their work (like ps10 in Brooklyn). Here is a slideshow introducing how to use Twitter for school admins. Give it a look! You’ll be surprised at how easy some of these are. http://www.slideshare.net/psumazza/twitter-101-for-school-administrators
  5. Get help! The cohort from your School Building leader program has faced the same questions you’re facing. Check in with them, and with your professors. They’re happy to be a resource! The National Association for Secondary School Principals put together a great resource page with links to videos, podcasts, webinars, and articles from and about principals. Lots of information, and lots of good tips for principals. Get it here: http://www.nassp.org/Resources-For/Center-for-New-Principals/special-topics-of-interest-for-new-principals/broad-based-advice-for-new-principals

Our recent graduates from the Administration Program at CITE reflect on their own experiences in new jobs here. What are some tips for principals you wish you knew coming in? Tell us! Questions? Comments? We’d love to connect! Click here to follow us on Twitter and click here to like us on Facebook.

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