A typical day for a school principal is much more than sitting in an office, taking phone calls, or doling out discipline for problem students. When you think back to your school days, you only saw the principal from your point of view. A school principal wears many hats and has a staggering list of responsibilities that would astound most people. Putting in long days and more time than most staff members, working through vacations and at extracurricular functions, and running a tight ship at school are just a few of the examples of what fills a day in the life of a school principal. There is so much more.
A Principal’s Daily Duties
Above all else, a principal is the school’s leader. Think of the chief administrator as the welcoming committee at the opening of the day and the person who gives all of his or her charges a fitting sendoff when it is time to go home. The principal is a visible, guiding force who is always accessible for those in need of his or her counsel. A school administrator is the point of contact with students, teachers, support staff, the superintendent, parents, and community members. The day is full of interactions with all of these key people who are a part of the school system. There are times when a principal doesn’t even seem to have time to breathe.
Management is Key
Each day that a principal walks into the school, it is time to take the role of management. A key point of management responsibilities is teacher evaluation. Principals are involved in the hiring process for new staff members, observing teachers in action, and conducting evaluations. They make decisions regarding who will remain on staff, who needs mentoring or a plan of action for improvement, and which teachers will be let go. Principals review the effectiveness of staff members and student assessments to make decisions concerning the changes that must be made.
Implement Programming and Curriculum
The school principal must have in-depth knowledge of the educational programs that are in place in the building, curriculum development, and the expectations of the state. The main goal is to ensure that student learning and growth is occurring on a consistent basis. Only through a keen understanding of the educational process is this possible.
Discipline is a major component of a principal’s daily responsibilities, especially in this modern time. Classrooms in America are diverse, including students of various ethnic backgrounds, learning abilities, and home lives. Gone are the days when students sat in straight rows, behaved with absolute respect, and diligently did their work. However, a principal who sets the bar high can make sure students understand the level of expectation, what will be tolerated, and that there will be consequences for their actions. With a team approach that involves family, staff, and students, the educational process can be productive and steady.
Never a Dull Moment
One thing is for certain. A school principal does not lead a boring life. The days are full, and often rich, with encounters that include individuals of all ages. The most important thing to remember is that the principal is guiding students toward the future. A typical day for a school principal is definitely meaningful.
For information on pursuing a degree to become a school principal, please see: Top 15 Best and Most Affordable Graduate Educational Leadership Programs.