Thinking back to elementary and high school, we all had principles throughout our academic careers. Whether they were a big part of our school life or a small part, their presence seemed to control the very atmosphere of the school. This week, I was able to learn a lot more about what being a principal actually means, and what that means for me transitioning from a student to a teacher.
To be an effective principal means more than just enforcing rules. A principal must establish the mission, vision, and culture of the school through each of their words and actions. To me, this sounds difficult since you are your words and actions. Essentially you must become one with your school.
Principals are also responsible for funding. Deciding where the money for your school is going to go is tough. Obviously, you want to give every club, sports team, and classroom money to see them thrive and reach their potential. With school budgets shrinking and shrinking principals have to make the tough decisions. Do you give money for the SRC to hold a pep-rally or buy the volleyball team new jerseys and equipment?
The role of a principal is always changing. Principals are now supposed to be approachable as well as enforcing rules. Principals must look after the well-being of students, staff, and community. I learned that principals must act as the mediator between school community members and students and staff within the school. This adds even more responsibility that lies outside of the principal’s jurisdiction.
I was able to connect with this weeks lecture on principals in unique ways. Throughout high school and elementary school, I served on my school’s Student Representative Council. We planned each of the school-wide events such as dances and pep-rallies, and I experienced first hand the heartbreaking news of a small budget. This news would often result in events being cut and resources dwindling.
Another connection I made was having all types of principals throughout my life. I’ve had easily approachable principals, ones that didn’t leave their office, others got involved in everything around the school. I’m very lucky that I’ve had such a diverse set of principals in my life because the variety has helped me pick out good quality and bad qualities of a principal.
My one question is to do with the changing role of the principal. How exactly has the role principals have in schools changed throughout the years?