It is imperative, that at the end of the day, the focus of the principal is on the success of each student. A typical day for a school principal is anything but routine. Schedule changes, surprises, an unforeseen crisis, unexpected discipline issues, and much more force an administrator to deal with many different situations each day. It is important, that in the end, the focus of the principal is on the success of each student. “Each day brings excitement, unplanned events, and meetings – opportunities to creatively make a difference in the lives of students and adults in the school house” (Robbins & Alvy, 2004, 151). However, ‘no man is an island’ and ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. In other words, the principal alone cannot ensure the success of all students. The principal needs an enthusiastic and qualified faculty and staff committed to the cause of success.
I want students’ time at my school to be a time of growth so they are prepared for the next step in their life. A school needs to nurture a child in order that he or she may grow physically, emotionally, academically, and, socially. The teachers blaze the path to growth for students. The tools teachers need to foster maximum growth can be attained by attending conferences, conferring with co-workers, continuing education, and setting attainable goals.
A professional, proficient, and enthusiastic staff can make a difference in a school. “School principals can affect student success by helping teachers be the best they can be” (Robbins & Alvy, 2004, 89). A good teacher can be a very strong influence in a child’s life. A good teacher loves children, enjoys teaching, is enthusiastic, and is a good communicator with families. A good principal will encourage each teacher and will make every effort to provide all the opportunities necessary for a teacher to do a great job. A shared vision is also very important. The school climate will be very dynamic if the principal can model the vision, and the teachers can carry it out in their classrooms (Kouzes & Posner, 2006, 96).
A principal who strives to be an influential leader will also be a servant. A servant attitude will help to build strong and personal relationships with teachers, staff, students, and families. “When leaders accept that they are servants first, then they clearly know where they stand. And it’s not at the head of the line” (Kouzes & Posner, 2006, 16). It takes some humility to understand that the role of a leader also means that you will need to be a servant to other people. It allows you to stay on the same level as the people you work with and to see people eye to eye. “To be humble is to be down-to-earth, both feet planted firmly on the ground” (Kouzes & Posner, 2006, 156).
A principal that can work toward constant growth, provide a proficient staff, and serve those around him will ensure the success of each student. All three of those areas, either directly or indirectly, have an effect on the students of the school. If the principal and the teachers grow, then the school grows. And if the school is growing then the students are growing. A proficient staff, who is enthusiastic and loves to teach, will have lasting effects on the students. The more a principal serves, the more he or she will understand how to better meet the needs of the students and all those involved with the school. If all this can be accomplished, students will be successful.
Kouzes, J. and Posner, B. (2006). A Leader’s Legacy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Robbins, P. and Alvy, H. (2004). The New Principal’s Fieldbook: Strategies For Success. Alexandria: ASCD