Principals must work with every stakeholder in the community. They should be skilled listeners who value feedback and use it to make recognizable changes. Principals should be on the front lines, working with the stakeholders to improve both their community and school. Being a principal can be overwhelming. This is often amplified as principals by nature are typically control freaks. They have high expectations on how things should be done making it difficult to let others take the lead role.  Because they realize there is value in delegation, successful principals are able to get past this. First of all, it shifts the burden of responsibility from you, freeing you up to work on other projects. At the second place you can strategically make individuals responsible for projects that you know fit their strengths and will help build their confidence. Finally, delegating reduces your overall workload, which in turn keeps your stress level at a minimum. Every principal should be an adept policy writer. Each school is different and has its own unique needs in terms of policy. Policy works best when it is written and enforced in such a way that very few want to take the chance to receive the attached consequences.

What a successful school principal makes differently

Most principals will spend a large part of their day dealing with student discipline. Policy should be seen as a deterrent to distractions that interrupt learning. Successful principals are proactive in their approach to both student discipline and policy writing. They recognize potential problems and address them before they become a significant issue. A quick fix is seldom the right solution. Long term solutions require more time and effort in the beginning. However, they typically save you time in the long run, because you won’t have to deal with it as much in the future. Successful principals think two to three steps ahead. They address the little picture by fixing the large picture. They look beyond the specific circumstance to get to the cause of the problem.  They understand that taking care of the core problem may head off several smaller issues down the road, potentially saving both time and money. Principals have to experts in many different areas including content and policy. Successful principals are a wealth of information. They stay up-to-date on the latest educational research, technology, and trends. Principals should at least have a working knowledge of the content being taught in each grade in which they are responsible. They follow educational policy at both the state and locals areas. They keep their teachers informed and are able to offer tips and strategies concerning best classroom practices. It is easy to get so busy that you shut your office door to try and get a few things done as a principal. As long as it isn’t done a regular basis, this is perfectly acceptable. Principals must be accessible to all stakeholders including teachers, staff members, parents, and especially students. Every principal should have an open door policy.