What great principals do differently?
- never forget that it is people, not programs that determine the quality of a school.
- have clarity about who they are, what they do, and how others perceive them.
- take responsibility for their own performance and for all aspects of their school.
- create a positive atmosphere in their schools. They treat every person with respect. In particular, they understand the power of praise.
- consistently filter out the negatives that don't matter and share a positive attitude.
- deliberately apply a range of strategies to improve teacher performance.
- take every opportunity to hire and retain the very best teachers.
- understand the dynamics of change.
- keep standardized testing in perspective and focus on the real issue of student learning.
- know when to focus on behavior before beliefs.
- are loyal to their students, to their teachers, and to the school. They expect loyalty to students and the school to take precedence over loyalty to themselves.
- ask themselves one central question before making any decision or attempting to bring about any change: What will my best teachers think of this?
- continually ask themselves who is the most comfortable and who is the least comfortable with each decision they make. They treat everyone as if they were good.
- understand high achievers are sensitive to their best teachers' needs and make the most of this valuable resource.
- make it cool to care. They understand that behaviors and beliefs are tied to emotion, and they understand the power of emotion to jump-start change.
- work hard to keep their relationships in good repair to avoid personal hurt and to repair any possible damage.
- take steps to improve or remove negative and ineffective staff members.
- establish clear expectations at the start of the year and follow them consistently as the year progresses.
Source: What Great Principals Do Differently (2nd Edition): 18 Things That Matter Most by Todd Whitaker