Being a principal of an educational institution is not a bed of roses, it is a very daunting yet challenging role. It requires a significant amount of investment in terms of time, energy and most importantly, patience.
As principal your responsibilities are not restricted to just good administration but to making sure to create a healthy and happy environment in your institution so that everyone does well. It is a job that demands a great level of discipline and a keen sense of observation.
Tips for First-Time Principals:
Create a Plan:
First things first, as a principal of an educational institution, you must always have a plan. Of course, sitting at the top, you must be aware of how much has to be done, but there is always room for more than what meets the eye. There can be a thousand things that require your personal attention, they can be big or small but making the necessary changes can create a good impact on your institution. So, you must be ready with a plan of action every day, and for this, you must learn how to prioritize and make swift e swift decisions. Always be prepared with a checklist for each day and fix a time when a particular task is to be completed. Take advantage of your free time as well.
You can never be a good leader when you do not have great organizational skills. A principal's job can be challenging, demanding and confusing as well. There are so many aspects and responsibilities to your job that you can fall flat if you are not thoroughly organized. It can adversely affect your credibility as a principal and pull down the support staff who are working closely with you, and moreover, it can be detrimental to the overall functioning of the school. Sometimes being disorganized can lead to ultimate chaos if it comes from sitting on a chair with such great responsibility and power, which will eventually pave the way for an impending disaster that cannot be reversed.
Whether it is a first-time teacher or veteran educator, everybody has something to contribute to the school therefore letting go of the hierarchical practices can be an effective way to analyze and highlight the good work that is happening inside the institution as well as make room for more innovative and creative ideas. With the digital revolution that is taking the world by storm, you can employ highly advanced cutting-edge tools such as Campuslift to run the school digitally and enrich the learning experience.
Know your Teaching/Non-Teaching Staff:
Always know the who's who of your school. The people behind the scenes who essentially run the school from start to finish. More often it is the administrative staff and other assistants, maintenance personnel and the cafeteria staff who are more well-versed in what's happening in and around the school than anyone else. These guys are the ones that make daily operations and tasks run smoothly. They are the most valuable resource in your institution. As the principal, you should make an effort to get to know them beyond a professional level, because you may never know when their skills and knowledge might come in handy.
Make yourself known to parents and students:
As a principal, it is very important to make a good impression on the parents, students, other school board members and other important patrons that are associated with the institution. It will be a great foundation for building effective and long-lasting relationships that are beneficial for the school and community in the long run. After all, being a principal is not just about administration, students, homework and grades, forming relationships and establishing connections with people is also important. You can always seek the help of these communities, financially and otherwise when you are in plans to do things that will take the school to the next level; such as digitization of schools by integrating and employing new-age software like Campuslift to enrich and enhance the process of learning for students and teachers alike.
Be Available to ALL staff:
It is absolutely essential to value your staff and let them know that your doors are open for them all at any time of the day. Make it a habit to thank and reward them at times for their sincere effort, commitment and contribution to the betterment of the institution. Go to their workspace and ask them questions about their lives and jobs but remember, always be a good listener too. Doing this can make people put their trust in you and give their best when it comes to running the school.
Be ready to help around:
A good leader does put himself above anybody or any job. Help around the school whenever possible, by holding doors for people or lending a hand in cleaning the cafeteria, The support you give can make a huge difference. Show the school that you are genuinely interested and invested in the smooth running of the school, irrespective of how big or small the task might be.
Before making changes, wait:
As the new principal of an educational institution, you will be charged up and filled with a lot of exciting ideas that you would like to put into practice. But before you implement changes try to get to know your school better and get a grip on the whole place and its people. Develop and maintain strong relationships. Make sure no stone is unturned, gather every piece of information and know everything that you need to know. By doing this, you will be confident about the outcome of the changes that you are going to put forward and moreover, they can be accepted and appreciated by the students, teachers and staff, such as creating a digital learning environment with tools like Campuslift.
Visit Classrooms Regularly:
Being a principal doesn't mean you forget being a student. Classroom visits at regular intervals can help analyze the positives and negatives of each class but be non-evaluative most of the time. Talk to students and teachers, get to know them and take their input and suggestions on how to improve and enhance the learning experience and how to upgrade school facilities like integrating digital learning suites like Campuslift.
Get a Free Demo
Interested in experiencing our product firsthand? Have questions or looking to explore the benefits?