Being a principal is a job that not everyone would be able to handle. It’s a difficult job that demands great responsibility. The role of a principal is to lead his school on the higher peaks of knowledge and make sure that his school offers the best learning methods to its students.
In order to become a principal, you should first become a teacher who knows his field. Nevertheless, there are several more important characteristics that you need to possess in order to become a successful principal. Therefore, in the following article, we will present you 3 vital characteristics that a principal should acquire:
1. A Principal Should Always Have His Door Open
Imagine starting your first stay as a principal. Everyone expects you to hear their problems, and do something about them as soon as possible. When I say everybody I mean every child, teacher, and cafeteria worker. An entire school lies on your shoulders.
The stress may become so intense that anyone exposed to so much negativity and concern would turn and run as quick as possible. Every principal has his own ideas which he would want to implement in his school. Therefore, why should he pay attention to the opinions of the parents, teachers, and students?
Even if most of the advice he receives is worthless, he still has the obligation to at least listen to his subordinates. Even in the midst of his work he must take the time to listen to those led by him. He must offer respect in order to receive it.
Moreover, a leader should never make someone feel like they don’t matter or their ideas are of no value. A leader should inspire confidence, and this is done by listening to everyone who has something to say.
Let’s say you are eager to talk to anyone who needs your help or just wants to offer you a piece of advice. The strange thing is that even if your door is open, nobody wants to make his voice heard. In this case, you should be the one that makes the first step. Let your teachers know that you are open for discussions.
Jeff McRae, a history tutor from essayontime.com.au was kind enough to share his experience with us:
“In my 10 years of teaching, I always had the impression that the administration never wished for their students and teachers to have a well-researched and organized education. It seemed to me that their purpose was to purely make money and brag with their status. We never had strong leadership at our school; only principals that were moved like pawns by the wealthy parents. The only way to get out of this situation is by educating our leaders.”
2. Successful Principals Have a Spine
Emotionally weak principals tend to roll over and give in to parents, students, and teachers for all the wrong reasons. The thing is that everyone wishes the best for the kids, but everyone has a distinct set of opinions that may help in this direction.
The role of a successful principal is to listen to everybody’s opinion while taking into account all the pros and cons. He must take a balanced decision that will please everybody. A terrific principal must have a fine moral compass which bonds him to always fight and defend what’s right.
By having this uninhibited attitude, he will only get pushed back by others. Still, that is the treatment which every upright human has to face daily. The important thing is that if principals can lay down at night knowing that they didn’t disregard their moral compass, then be sure that they are in possession of a great personal strength and integrity.
An exceptional principal should go to the bitter end for his students, staff, and faculty. When a principal stands his ground, going forward when everything seems to be against him, that’s the moment when you know you are in good hands.
Being able to take quick and worthy decisions is exactly the quality that a great leader should possess. Always remember that your decisions influence a lot of people, therefore take your time to contemplate on those matters before pronouncing your resolution.
3. Successful Principals Always Remember Their Time as Teachers
The most important rule that should always be kept in mind by a principal is to never forget where you came from. In general, when teachers decide to join the administration, they do it only with the best intentions in mind. But, as the time passes by, they tend to forget their time as a teacher, and start taking decisions based on their personal agenda.
To understand this concept better, let’s take a hospital as an example. People in administration still see and help patients. However, in the educational system, people at the top tend to forget about the students and their needs. They disconnect from everything that means to be a teacher. The most important thing a principal should do is create true connections with the students while helping each one of them succeeds in life.
It’s crucial for a principal to be interested in his teacher’s plans. Guide them through when making decisions, and be kind to them whenever they are having problems at home or in their life outside the school. In the present moment, it seems that empathy decreases when people move up on the hierarchical ladder.
A true principal always has time for his staff and students. His door is always open for advice and educational innovations. A great principal has the courage to mold the beliefs of his teachers in order to cultivate their dedication and motivation. He will always have the heart of a teacher, wishing for all of his students to thrive.
As a message for all principals: the future of your students and the well-being of your teachers are in your hands. Someone once said that with great power comes great responsibility. Therefore, always remember this. Your name will probably be forgotten in time, but your actions will count forever. Molding our youth minds is probably one of the most important actions one may take, so do it with care!