Books: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Convey
I’ve never had the desire to be a school administrator. Not for one second. I’ve always known that my place is in front of a classroom with chalk in my hand. (OK, times have changed, and there are no more chalkboards. Make it an erasable marker—you pick the color.) Even though I’m a confessed non-administrator type, I may have a message for others who see a school principalship in their future.
In my travels as my state’s current teacher of the year, I recently had an amazing opportunity to visit a number of school communities in North Carolina and talk to teachers, support staff, parents, and students about what makes a good school-based administrator. When it comes to defining what makes a principal great, I soon discovered that there are characteristics common across school levels and community demographics.
Here are the results of my unofficial research on the “Principles of Great Principals.”
- The school is a family.
- Teachers are treated as professionals.
- Instruction in the school is data-driven.
- They are student-centered.
- They reach out to families.
- They have great reservoirs of energy.
- They promote school spirit and teamwork.
- They develop leaders.
- They have good help.