The role of a principal is misunderstood by many non-educators. For many years, the word "principal" was referred to as the disciplinarian or the manager of the school. The role of the principal has changed. We are now referred to as educational leaders. I like the term educational leader, modern day principal and instructional leader.
Are you a modern day principal? Well let's take a look and see...
The Modern Day Principal is defined by me as someone who builds and unites a team, inspires others, a coach, and a person determined to make a difference. A modern day principal is decisive, insightful and constantly striving to be more innovative. We are creative. We are passionate. We can face uncertainty because we are armed with the creativity, flexibility and a willingness to succeed. We walk the walk. We execute. We keep learning.
Schools, in which we lead and work, are being confronted with the most complex challenges of our time. We are consumed with pressures to perform, the desire to implement the best instructional and innovative practices, all while staying tuned to student's academic, physical, emotional and social needs. Sound familiar?
As a principal, we must juggle all of these demands all at the same time. Leadership is the most important part of your job. As we all face our challenges in today's schools, we can't model ourselves after leaders of the past. In order to meet the challenges to today, we must be more of a modern day principal.
Even with the abundance of all the knowledge and skills for the position, implementing all of the plans and ideas can be laborious, difficult and often a time consuming process.
So how do you do it all?
Everything stems from leadership. Servant leadership focuses on meeting the needs of the team members. We seek to serve, rather than be served. Servant leaders seek to inspire. We trust the members of the team.
From my experiences, the best leaders are not those who speak at me, but rather the ones who act in a way that inspires the best out of me and anyone following. When that kind of action is taken by a leader, no words are necessary.
A lot can be learned from simply listening to the needs of the campus. "The quieter you become, the more you can hear."
In reality, we can't do it all. We need to develop leadership skills in teachers. We want a building full of leaders leading leaders. Leadership is valued in schools of great principals. Power is greatest when we are all leading the way.
Failure has a bad name. It can cause so much shame. We need to change our views on failure. Great success is built on failure, frustration and hours of worry. I have discovered some of the greatest ideas come out of a failing moment. We can become very creative and innovative when the tough gets tougher. We need to give ourselves permission to fail at things sometimes. It's okay if our school day doesn't run smoothly. It's okay if we have set backs. Failures are simply stepping stones towards growth and success.
Let's move forward in our leadership. Your only limit is you!