Teachers can often have complex relationships with senior management. It’s not uncommon to imagine what you would do differently in a particular situation or to brainstorm better ways of approaching a significant problem.
When teachers do this, what they are doing is orbiting a central question: “is my principal doing a good job?” And would you know a good job from a bad job if you saw it?
These nine indicators might help you to understand if your school principal is doing a good job.
Leading From the Front
In general, a good headteacher is a good leader. And what do we expect from good leaders? That they lead by example.
For example, you may not think the principal’s attitude matters. But if they are not enthusiastic and engaging to students, faculty, and staff, then the morale of the whole school may suffer.
A good principal also keeps the open door. No one should be intimidated to approach the headteacher with things like criticisms, concerns, or suggestions.
Finally, good principals also keep their ears open. They should demonstrate good judgment by giving everyone a fair hearing and not dismissing anyone out of hand.
Teachers are only as good as their principal. That is why the principal should be a source of fair and consistent evaluations.
One mark of this is classroom visits. If a principal never leaves the office, they won’t know what is happening in the school. But someone regularly visiting teachers will have plenty of information when it comes to formal evaluations.
Keep in mind that a good evaluation should not just be a rubber stamp of high marks. Your principal should offer constructive criticism that helps you grow as a teacher and employee each year.
Are the students at your school loud and unruly? If this is a consistent problem, you can probably trace it back to your principal.
He/she should set discipline expectations with teachers and students and enforce those expectations via referrals. And when students are sent to the office, he/she should fairly arbitrate problems and keep them from becoming a recurring issue.
When it comes to discipline, the buck stops with your principal. If you have a smoothly-running school, the principal is likely to be the reason!
Many people believe “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” However, a good principal does not follow this particular rule!
The principal should always look for ways to add or improve programs. Every year under his/her leadership should be an opportunity for the school to become better than ever.
If your principal is continuously calling for new ideas and implementing new programs, it may seem exhausting. But this is an excellent sign that they want to take your school to a new level within your community.
Students and faculty alike often dismiss the school handbook as being unimportant. In reality, it’s the most important document within your school.
This is because the document does more than outline the rules and regulations of the school. It also serves to improve the educational experience of every student within the school’s walls.
That’s why your principal should take an active hand in reviewing and revising the handbook. It is solid evidence that he/she cares about the quality of the school for all involved.
When you get past pedagogy and lessons, what is a school? It’s really a set of complicated and interconnected schedules.
While the headteacher should have an excellent support team, setting and maintaining those schedules is the responsibility of the principal. If no teachers have major schedule conflicts, that’s a perfect sign.
But if there are constant schedule clashes and revisions, it may be a sign your principal is failing in this fundamental task.
Ideally, the principal will also take schedule requests under advisement. This shows they’re concerned for the well-being of the teachers that they oversee.
Sadly, it’s not always about the quality of your school. A successful institution must also appear high-quality to parents, the press, and the rest of the community.
A principal always serves as the public face of the school. When things are going well, they’ll get all the credit. But if things are going poorly, they’ll get there share of the blame.
That’s why a good principal is always building relationships with students, parents, and community leaders. This shows he/she is as adept at public relations.
Quick question: is your principal constantly micromanaging every little thing?
The best leaders do not micromanage because they are good at delegating. Instead of overseeing everything themselves, they know who to trust to keep things running at peak efficiency.
If you don’t have a principal breathing down your neck, that’s a good thing. It means they trust you to do your job!
As you know, good teachers are the backbone of an outstanding school. That’s why the principal must show solid judgment and drive when it comes to interviewing and hiring new teachers.
Your principal should be present for major interviews and help research each candidate, including calling their references. While others should be involved with hiring, your principal should take the lead on getting to know candidates and evaluating strengths and weaknesses.
In short, anyone who cares that much about new teachers care about students. And that’s the best sign you could ask for!
9 Indicators Your School Principal is Doing the Basics Right