As the new school year is about to begin, pregnant with both opportunities and challenges for principals and administrators, there is still time to dream. Dream about what you might ask: dream about greatness. But why allow your dreams remain just that, when you can do things to make them come true.
Below are six practical suggestions to set you on the path to your greatness.
1. Become an Outstanding Leader
Since as a principal you are responsible for the faculty, staff, and students the role of leadership has been thrust upon you whether you like it or not. To command the respect that will be needed to guarantee smooth functioning on a daily basis, you will need to rise to the challenge.
Demanding or even expecting that respect probably won’t work. Instead, you must be prepared to place everyone’s needs before your own. As it becomes evident that you are consistently responsive to the daily problems and are working to create positive changes, authentic leadership will come naturally.
2. First and Foremost, Be a People Person
Although it may be easier to run the school by checking the monitors on your desk, it just won’t work. Unless you make your presence known and reach out to faculty, students, and staff to build genuine relationships you will seem like another cold and distant administrator.
The equation is quite simple. The more you invest in people, the more significant your impact. Go into the halls between periods greeting children with your warm smile, wander into classrooms during class, go outside during recess, and be there for dismissal. Seize your opportunities.
3. Let Everyone Know That You are Fair and Reasonable
While you may have your personal favorites when it comes to faculty, staff or students, no one ever should receive preferential treatment. If you aren’t careful here, you will quickly lose your credibility which will make your job infinitely more difficult.
Instead, go out of your way to hear two sides of every story before coming to any judgment. If you see that someone is being mistreated, even if it someone you don’t like, be sure to be compassionate and assure that everyone is treated fairly. Gaining everyone’s trust is essential.
4. Become an Effective Problem Solver
Lke it or not, everyone including parents will see you as the one to solve the problem at hand. Whether or not you have the talent or experience doesn’t matter. You are the bottom line. That doesn’t mean that you will always have the answer.
What is important here is the process. You will need to remain calm, cool, and collected, considering all the options, and offering an objective solution. With experience, you are bound to improve in this area. What’s more, it will serve you well to defer when someone has a better solution. This creates a culture of cooperation which will serve you well.
5. Teletherapy and Responding to Other Special Needs
As any principal knows, the needs of some of the children go way beyond the classroom. Take those special needs for example, such as children with speech-language deficiencies. What is the principal to do if there aren’t enough excellent therapists to serve all the children who need?
Discovering innovations such as teletherapy turn nightmare into a beautiful dreams. Online therapy is less expensive and adds convenience, in addition to providing top quality therapists where there were none. Teletherapy is a solution that requires the principal to think outside of the box- exactly the thinking that may be necessary to solve those seemingly impossible problems.