A glimpse at the daily expectations of a principal

A glimpse at the daily expectations of a principal

Excelsia’s online Master of Education program is designed to prepare professional educators to step up to the role of principal with confidence. For those who are up to the challenge, the rewards of guiding a school community are well worth the effort.

The principal plays a very public and influential role at every school. Through a values-based approach to your professional learning, you’ll develop the servant leadership style and biblical foundation that sets Excelsia College MEd graduates apart. As you pursue a specialisation in Leadership, you’ll learn to effectively manage the distinctive tasks of a school administrator.

So, what does a day in the life of a great principal look like?

Active, attentive listening

A principal spends a large portion of each day just listening – to staff complaints and needs, to concerned parents and to students on the playground. As the leader of the school, you should be approachable, friendly and fair. Students and staff should feel comfortable around you and know that you’re willing to engage with them.

Embracing flexibility

You’ll learn to be an expert at graciously accepting interruptions. As soon as your teachers and students arrive in the morning, you’ll be in an endless, often unforeseen chain of meetings, phone calls and encounters with the school community. A good principal will embrace the unexpected challenges of the day with energy and a positive attitude.

Managing conflict and discipline

One of the less glamorous aspects of a principal’s day is handling disciplinary issues, especially those that require parental involvement. A good principal needs to set a clear standard of conduct within the school and to be firm with difficult students. You’ll also need the people skills to work closely and confidently with the parents of students who demonstrate challenging behaviour.

Not taking things personally

Whether you’re dealing with difficult parents, tired and grumbling staff or the public windfall from a less-than-charming newspaper article, you’ll have to learn not to take things to heart.

Being your school’s number 1 fan

Get ready to be the ultimate advocate for your school! You’ll need to get to know the student organisations or clubs, and attend as many extracurricular events as possible. Most principals spend two to four evenings a week doing things like attending concerts and meetings. or judging science competitions.

Exemplify the qualities you want to see in your staff and students

Perhaps the most critical role of a principal is setting the tone of the whole school. Stay positive, energetic, engaged, enthusiastic, kind and curious – and you’ll model the behaviour you hope to see in the classroom. Your position will afford you an incredible opportunity to demonstrate Christ-like servant leadership.

Discover how postgraduate study in education can help nurture the leadership qualities found in the best principals. Get in touch with a Student Advisor today on 1300 916 917.

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