Being an administrator is tough and it has changed vastly over the past few decades but with reduced funding, over worked staff, and more responsibilities added to the principal role it is almost an impossible job to perform. Here are a few tips to help you get through that first year and to make it easier on yourself.
1) Be Visible: Be in the hallway every passing period and before/after school. Also, be sure to rotate where you are in the hallways. Make it a point to be in the cafeteria and talking with students during lunch time. Smile and interact with the students and ask them how their day is going. You'd be surprised how many students go the entire day without any real interaction with another person in your school.
2) Praise the Positive: One of my favorite leadership authors is Jon Gordon and he always said feed the positive's in your school. Make it a point to praise an adult staff member each and every day! Talk about a game changer if you start praising your staff on a daily basis they will start to feel great and it will turn into a habit one worth keeping.
3) Ask Staff and Students what they want Changed: Your leading the students and staff it is a great idea to figure out what is important to them and what they would like to be changed in their school. Being humble and realizing that you are serving them and they are not there for you is important, if you have all the answers and don't listen you will lose followers quickly. And then execute changes that are in your control. There's not a better feeling around than improving a school with the teachers and students input.
4) Recognition: Recognize anything and everything that you can possible and let people know about it. The more you highlight and recognize the more staff and students will know what you like and what they have to do to become recognized which will create a culture of success in the building.
5) Have Fun: Like I said it's an impossible job you might as well try to enjoy it! Some days will be better than other but one thing that is for certain is that you will have a never ending stack of problems that you will attempt to fix daily. Be preventative a happy principal is a happy school. Students feed off of their teachers and the teachers feed off of you make it enjoyable for everyone and have fun!
Blog written by Principal Andy Jordan