Insights About The Principalship
In times of increasing expectations, decreasing resources, and rigorous accountability, school principals are faced with complex challenges and a huge array of initiatives to implement. These realities have discouraged many principals from staying on the job. How can schools stop the revolving door of the principalship and energize principals to lead?
The April 2013 issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership addresses approaches that promote career-long growth, such as coaching and mentoring, collaborative learning, and principal peer groups.
In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer asked fellow EL columnist (and 2013 Whole Child Virtual Conference presenter) Tom Hoerr what makes principals stay in a challenging job. Hoerr responded,
The most rewarding thing, for me, is feeling that you've made a positive difference in others' lives. I have had lots of difficult times and made many mistakes, yet I live for the times when someone tells me how their life is better because I worked with them.
With kids, it's often easier. The growth is obvious and they come back, years later, to talk about how their time at my school changed their life. But some teachers, too, will share how they see the world a bit differently or how they took a risk and succeeded, and thank me.
It's a hard, taxing, and a frustrating job, but I love it.
Articles in the issue include
"How Do Principals Really Improve Schools?" by Rick DuFour and Mike Mattos
The most powerful process for improving both teaching and learning? It's not micromanaging instruction.
"How High-Poverty Schools Are Getting It Done" by Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas
High-poverty, high-achieving schools all have excellent leaders who focus on building the capacity of teachers.
"Research Says: A Principal's Success Requires People Skills by Bryan Goodwin
One-on-one relationships are key to implementing good ideas.
"Principal Connection: Who Decides What?" by Tom Hoerr
How much autonomy do you give away?
"What Keeps Me Going" by Linda Nathan
A principal reflects on the importance of collaborative leadership.
"First-Year Hurdles" by Jessica Bohn, a featured guest on the April 11 Whole Child Podcast
Advice for novice principals about navigating the challenges ahead.