School principals are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of their schools. But there are several ways they can make their schools better places. Here are some recommendations for what to do if you’re a principal looking to make a difference.
Be a Positive Role Model
In any school, education happens in and out of the classroom. Whether it’s taking extra time during lunch periods or after the day ends, your students are always learning from your teachers. School principals should be no different. Even when you are responsible for the most prominent school in your district, you can still be a positive role model. Think about how your and your staff members interact with students – especially the ones who are often harassed and excluded by their peers.
Collaborate with Your Teachers
Collaborating with your teachers is vital to the success of any school. It doesn’t matter if it’s an elementary school, a middle school, or a high school. Your teachers can help make all the difference in the world. Let your teachers have a say when it’s time to outline school rules. Trust is a fundamental part of a safe learning space, and administrators, teachers, and students should do all they can to build that trust.
Create Positive Rules
Classroom rules need to be uplifting. They shouldn’t be the basis of punishing everything, but you need to be reasonable about setting your expectations for student behavior. The best-written rules are kept short and sweet (e.g., Treat everyone with respect) and you don’t need to overregulate every aspect of school life. However, the most crucial takeaway to keep in mind is that whether students are in the lunchroom, the library, the gym, or outside for recess, the rules should all be the same.
Encourage Your Students
Lastly, do whatever you can to encourage your students. Celebrate their successes and help them understand that being different isn’t a bad thing. When you give them good feedback, your pupils will thrive. Decide how many compliments you want your teachers to give out during a day, or even a week – just remember that these compliments need to be specific to an instance of positive behavior.
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