The principal needs to find the balance between the demands of personal and professional life. Few individuals would say that they wished they had spent more time at the office. The “to do” list is never completed. Working long hours robs you of personal and family time. Love your family by spending quality time with them; love yourself by maintaining your health; and love God by staying connected with Him.
Escape your office and enjoy the good things happening in your school. Walking around your school gives you the opportunity to interact with students and staff, shows that you care about what is happening, and reminds you why you’ve chosen to be the principal!
Principals, particularly those who are new or in a new assignment, can benefit by entering into a mentoring relationship with an experienced educational leader. In collaboration with the conference superintendent of schools, identify quality and experienced principals who will be willing to work with you.
Not only is it important to build a relationship with an experienced school principal, but it is also important to build a team of local people who know your community and can help you navigate some of the challenges. (Helpful Hint: the first person in a new community to befriend you may or may not be the best mentor–be aware of confidentiality issues and hidden agendas!)
A respected, experienced educational leader can be a mentor who will be particularly helpful as you:
Principals can be more effective by consistently accessing information loops. These are made up of people who hold and/or pursue common interests, needs, and expectations and are willing to share what they know. They include:
Information can be discreetly gleaned from each of these groups regarding the school’s history, operation, past successes, and disappointments. This information, used wisely, can allow you to more effectively meet the needs and expectations of these various, and sometimes conflicting, stakeholder groups.
Some of the common bumps and lumps that have undermined the effectiveness of a principal are:
Learning and consistently employing a variety of life hacks helps a principal’s overall effectiveness. Some strategies to consider include:
Principals know that time is a precious commodity—once used, it cannot be recalled. Managing time effectively is of primary importance to a successful principal:
While taking care of the office duties is important, it is more important to build and nurture relationships with faculty, students, and parents.
Get Organized! Time Management for School Leaders —
Making Time to Lead —
Richard A. Simon & James F. Newman
Time Management Books