The world’s top school principals and administrators all have 3 things in common: they’re great communicators, care deeply about their students, and are adept leaders. These three qualities make them the best at what they do, bringing their schools to a new level regarding safety and quality. We will dive deeper into this subject in the article below and help you become a better principal and positively impact your school and students.
1. VISION AND ADEPT LEARNING
A good principal should have a clear vision. You should be a continuous learner and also adapt to new trends. By doing that, you will stand out among your peers. It is your job to see that teachers get comfortable and feel motivated to improve continuously.
Along with technology, education is ever-evolving. Even if you have been at a school for 15 years, there are still more things you can do and new methods you can implement to improve the overall quality of your school. There is always something bigger and better available.
You should always stay up to date on new techniques implemented by other schools. For example, the trending topics at the time of writing this article are student safety, monitoring screens, and suicide prevention for students, all of which are suspected of resurging in the upcoming school year in even bigger numbers with the anticipated return of online teaching.
As a school principal, you should consider using a screen monitoring and content filtering system to monitor your students’ screen time and minimize the risk of exposing them to harmful material online. An example of this kind of program is Blocksi.
Blocksi is a K-12 web filter and classroom screen monitoring software designed to minimize unnecessary screen time and online threats while maximizing the overall educational experience. With this innovative platform, teachers and parents can reassert control over what students are exposed to.
A principal is the leader of the school. Ultimately, they have the responsibility for everything that goes on there. Their attitude and vision need to be loud and clear.
As a principal, you interact with many different people, including parents, students, and staff members; therefore, you need to make sure that you communicate any necessary information to them appropriately – the way you would address a student would be different from how you would speak with a parent or staff member.
For example, to communicate with parents, you could send out a weekly newsletter outlining school events and student achievements. To communicate with staff, you could send out a weekly bulletin with any relevant information they may need to know about students.
Nothing makes performance suffer more than unclear communication. It doesn’t matter if it’s a staff member, faculty member, parent, or student; they will not be able to do what you need them to do if they don’t know what you are trying to communicate.
Active listening is one of the best skills a principal can cultivate and use. This means being able to hear/see things beyond your point of view and checking your own understanding of things. Successful principals intentionally focus on listening and understanding things from another person’s perspective.
Effective listening and communication are some of the most important skills in leadership positions. A leader must be able to hear what those working under them are saying and develop effective ways to go about creating solutions.
In short, an effective school principal, without a doubt, has fantastic communication skills.
3. CARE ABOUT YOUR STUDENTS
Unfortunately, in the past year, the number of students who have considered attempting suicide or self-harm has increased significantly. One of the main reasons this happens is because students encounter harmful content on the web, whether by stumbling upon a prohibited website, or receiving hurtful and destructive messages from their peers online.
Entertainment and social media are saturated with violent images and videos of physical assaults, gun violence, and gore. Exposure to, and participation in, virtual violence might not lead to aggressive behavior for all children and adolescents. But watching violent programs and playing violent video games can lead to increased hostility, aggressive feelings, emotional desensitization to violence, and ultimately, aggressive behavior.
These effects can potentially be lessened by reducing the amount of screen violence to which children and adolescents are exposed, particularly early in development. One method to prevent such activity is limiting students’ screen time, filtering the content they consume, and preventing them from encountering such harmful material on their devices.
Researchers have found that when parents monitor their older children’s web habits – reducing the amount of time that kids are allowed to spend on their devices or filtering out hurtful and irrelevant content – there are social, academic, and physical changes for the better.
One study on third, fourth, and fifth graders linked children’s screen limits to overall wellness. When parents monitored media use, children had reduced exposure to media violence and negative messaging, and improved sleep, school performance, social behavior, and reduced aggression.
Again, another good example of easy implementation of this is Blocksi, where you can simultaneously view all of your students’ Chromebooks and devices and monitor their actions on the web while filtering out inappropriate content. It also allows you to message them directly, whether it’s all of the class, a specific group, or just one student.
The truly great principals understand their role goes well beyond the school’s walls. They are advocates for all students and teachers, regardless of where they attend school. They pay attention to trends within and beyond their school and work to implement positive changes whenever possible. They also prefer to delegate responsibilities to those who are willing and capable of handling them rather than doing everything on their own. And lastly, the best principal or principal administrator will always put the needs and desires of the students first above all else.