A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
You got your new leadership job. Now what? What can you do on day one to maximize your success in your new position? You have been a successful teacher who enjoyed a reputation of being friendly, warm and collegial. Now, as an entry-level administrator (assistant principal, chairperson, coordinator, dean), you are expected to deal effectively with teachers who in some cases may be more experienced than you and who may be resistant to your leadership, and parents who are dissatisfied with how their child has been treated in the past, and more senior administrators who assign you many of the most demanding responsibilities (student discipline, lunchroom and bus supervision, parent complaints, and scheduling).
You may be a new principal who has successfully served as an assistant principal. As an assistant principal, you essentially had only one constituent to satisfy, and that was your principal. Now, you are faced with satisfying multiple constituencies, which include the faculty, the student body, parent groups (PTA, athletic booster, music boosters, and special education parents), Central Office administrators, and various unions.
Let’s start with the assumption that the failure of administrators is primarily rooted in the individual’s inability to (1) form relationships, (2) solve problems by developing and implementing workable solutions, (3) get the staff’s “buy in” to your decisions and leadership style, (4) earn respect. Therefore, here are my suggestions as to how you can be a successful first year administrator: