there's an old adage that when the teacher misses school they get a sub but
when the secretary misses school it's a crisis. But when the principal
misses school, nobody notices.But on a serious note, good principals
do make a difference. Good principals support good and great teachers, give
them the tools and resources to succeed but let them take the lead in pedagogy
(after all, they are the experts). Good principals involve parents in
meaningful ways and make students accountable for attendance and behavior while
making teachers accountable for student learning and having high expectations.
Good principals manage money or resources well and represent the school well to
the community. Good principals will try to improve staff morale which includes
teachers, secretaries, custodians, and paraprofessionals.I would say
great teachers are still the key to a good school but a poor principal can
certainly lessen their effectiveness and destroy their morale.
The greatest lack of preparation that many current Principals have is lack of
time spent as a classroom teacher. To often teachers spend a few years in the
classroom then move into administration because the paycheck is so much bigger.
In the school district I work in we have approximately 30 schools. Of those 30
schools at least 60% of them have Principals who spent less than 5 years as a
classroom teacher. There is no way you can understand what it means to be an
educational leader in a school if you have 5 years or less experience as a
classroom teacher. I would also agree that the Principal is more
important to the success of the school than the individual teacher. Teachers
can effect what happens in an individual classroom, but it is the Principal that
sets the tone for the school. That is one of the reasons that Senator
Osmond's legislation is so important and starts out by trying to create
I second the opinion that great principals need to have been great teachers. In
most Utah districts, many elementary schools are now led by individuals who only
taught for a few years in middle schools or high schools. Tell me how these
people can effectively lead elementary teachers who absolutely know that these
people haven'tpracticed what they are preaching to them? Such a joke!
A principal to a school is like:* a coach to an athletic team*
a father to a home* a leader to the country.* a general to his
men* a pastor to the congregationHonesty and character are
essential for success.