School principals need to create a vision and develop a plan for a school community to thrive. During a job interview for a school principal position, you need to express how you will create a solid strategy that details how the school will reach the vision you communicate.
This plan will be the school’s brainchild but, more importantly, must be driven by an excellent leader. In a school, the principal bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the institution’s goals are realized. In other words, the school principal is not just an administrative position but a leadership role. There are essential characteristics an educational leader needs to possess.
Any applicant for a school principal’s role must ensure that they communicate through their resume and responses to interview questions their ability to make sure that the school’s vision is actualized.
That said, the principal must emphasize that they cannot develop a vision and plan independently. As a leader, the school principal should develop a standard view in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, especially other staff and parents.
The school principal needs to acknowledge that no one person has a monopoly on the ideas of how to run the school well. As a visionary, the educational leader must show preparedness to challenge the status quo while not discarding the right aspects of the school’s current plan and vision.
An understanding of what makes an excellent school is vital to leadership success.
As an educational leader, the principal must forge channels of effective communication. Plans can always be improved, and there should be ways through which stakeholders can communicate their concerns on current projects and their thoughts on how to change the plans for the better.
Communication channels should cater to all staff members – from new to senior teachers and department heads to the general staff. Every staff member will be somewhat affected by any plan the school settles on, so no one should be shut out from giving their opinion. At the end of the day, every team member must be brought on board and buy into the vision and plans to succeed.
Involving fellow staff in the planning cannot be overemphasized. Remember, for instance, that the teachers sit where most of the action occurs – the classroom.
As the team members have to go through the system daily, they can usually identify what is wrong with the current school process and the most practical solution.
Even though most school principals had a career teaching, they may not be privy to the current practical challenges teachers face. Also, the school principal may not have the time to monitor what each staff member is going through actively. Creating a forum where staff can voice their thoughts, opinions, and fears is fundamental to the principal’s role.
Keep in mind, sometimes what a school principal may consider being a new and revolutionary vision for the school may have been tried before and failed for some reason. Speaking to staff at the institution for longer or having had similar experiences in another system could help avoid a plan that could fail.