What teachers like most about their principals

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In honor of National Principals Month, Education Week asked teachers on social media to share what they love most about their principals. We have received dozens of responses from our readers. Five key attributes emerged as the most valued traits of school leaders.

Here are some top qualities of principals, as told by teachers.

Confident

In an article from Education Week 2019, four teachers explained how principals can foster meaningful connections inside the school building. One teacher suggested that “[p]participants can build strong relationships with their staff by being respectful, supportive and trusting teachers as professionals.

Some of those who responded on Twitter also spoke of the need to trust school staff.

It allows us to teach our subject. It gives teachers the autonomy to modify the curriculum to meet the needs of our students. He trusts us and he doesn’t micro-manage.

My manager trusts me and my colleagues and helps us do our best. It is fair and supportive when we are faced with conflict or negative pressure from parents or community members.

Support

Respondents also noted that the support of their school principals was a quality they valued in a school principal.

My principal, Brian Riddick, is kind, fair and supports me in all my teaching endeavors and projects. This year, he defined a main idea for our school called: “The state of mind of champions”. It’s been a tough year so far, but he’s doing his best to lead the ship. Happy month of appreciation from Principal Mr. Riddick of Butler College Prep!

My manager supports the staff. He plans working time during professional development and adjusts the schedule to meet staff needs, if possible. It injects pleasure into our days.

Receptive

In August, we guest principals and school leadership experts to share their perspectives on how to approach decision making this year. Some of those interviewed stressed the importance of being a good listener, and a college principal even scheduled virtual listening sessions for parents, staff and students during the pandemic.

Our respondents agreed that responsiveness is a key quality that cannot be ignored.

I teach [at two] schools. These two admins are there whenever I have a question and have listened to extremely personal conversations when I needed a friendly ear. And they are excellent leaders and meet the needs of students both educational and personal.

@MrCarneyCMS not only listens but hears me. This support is priceless.

Charming

According to our readers, personality plays a big role in the appreciation of a school principal.

What I do about my main @HutchJLH is his personality. There isn’t a day this year that I haven’t laughed with him. He’s an incredible leader. # Connection5

His open-mindedness, his dedication, his confidence and his great sense of humor.

I love our Principal bc of his school spirit! Here we are on pajama day. He was wearing a flannel suit. #PrincipalsInAction #AllIn @chadedaddy

Kindness

Last but not least, compassion is the key.

I like that my manager is empathetic and understands human nature.

@RushwoodPrin recognizes that education is about helping ALL children and building community. Children’s emotional growth is just as important as their academic growth and teamwork is paramount! Thank you Dr O’Mara! 🙂

Despite the fact that she calls[s] me Constanza😂, I love the way she cares about all the people around her. This cookie this Monday morning was such a cool and delicious surprise❤️ @pueblaexquisita Ms. Suzanne, thank you for being the person you are as a leader❤️ Congratulations on your #mainmonth 🎉🎉🎉

For more reading, check out our 15 essentials in honor of Headmasters’ Month.


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