Thursday, March 5, 2015

Top ten reasons to be a school principal

Thought I'd follow up on the ten things I like most about being high school chem teacher with the top ten reasons I'd like to be a school principal:

10) The heart of the school is the classroom, and change has to start there, but a principal can facilitate it by finding, encouraging, supporting, and empowering innovative and growth-minded teachers.

9) Revolutionizing education is going to require radical changes in school structures. This is going to require school leaders who are bold willing to be first adopters.

8) The key to school improvement is in a truly collaborative model of school governance. Only school leaders can make this a reality.

7) As a teacher with a passion for innovation, experimentation and improvement, the approval, encouragement, and support of my own Principal has been a key component of my success.

6) I have a passion for hacking education--for making a system that is more human, a better fit with our DNA. As a teacher I can do it at the classroom level. As a school leader I can do it at the whole school level.


5) In the classroom, I believe the most important thing is to design and foster a structure and culture in which autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the motivators instead of grades, rewards and punishments. The same is true at the school level.

4) The other day, I saw a student who succeeded in my differentiated, mastery-based geology class last year. He couldn't make it in his other classes. So even though I was able to help him, he still failed to succeed in the school in general. As a Principal, I'd look for ways to make his success universal.

3) As a Principal, I would have the chance to have a profound impact at key moments in the lives of struggling and at-risk students.


2) As teacher, my influence is limited to 40-60 students per year.

1) As a principal, I could help a thousand... per year.

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