Education World's Focus On archive highlights many aspects of school leaders' jobs. Each of the archive sections listed below links to a handful or more of Education World articles and resources on the topic. Each of these archives presents practical ideas to help principals and other school administrators build awareness and skills.
Back to School
Getting the school year off to a strong start can pay big dividends in the 179 days that follow. Principals have found an infinite number of ways to start off the year on the right foot. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you plan events that ensure a successful start to the new school year.
Building School Community & Climate
How do students, staff, and strangers feel when they walk into your school building? Many principals work hard to create an atmosphere that is welcoming, warm, and productive. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you create a climate that is positive and ensures success.
Buildings and Building Management
Monitoring building facilities and safety, and working closely with the custodians to ensure cleanliness, are responsibilities shouldered by most principals. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you get a handle on these tasks as you "think green."
Cafeteria duty is a staple of life for most principals. For some, it's a wonderful opportunity to connect with students; for others it's a daily nightmare. If the latter is the case for you, the articles in this archive offer a full-course meal that, once digested, might change forever the way you look at cafeteria duty.
Counselors and other school personnel work hard to ensure that all students feel happy, respected, and valued. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that describe schools and programs that support students as they grow in self-awareness and develop self-esteem.
Knowing what to do to prevent a crisis -- or how to respond to one when it happens -- is part of the principal's job. How well prepared are you to handle the inevitable crisis? The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips for that moment when you must be prepared to respond quickly.
Dealing with data -- whether it is test data, student population data, walk-through evaluation statistics, or budget numbers -- is a big part of a principal's job. The articles in this archive share stories about how data can be used to raise student achievement, plus practical tips for building your data-management skills.
Handling issues of student discipline is part of a principal's job. Dealing with individual issues -- and developing school-wide policies and approaches -- are two elements of the task. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you develop and manage a school-wide discipline plan.
Have you been doing the same old fundraiser for years? Are you looking for new ways to get people involved as you raise money? You'll find dozens of ideas in the articles in this archive, which offers stories and practical tips to help you put the fun back into school fundraising.
Getting a Job
If you're looking to land a principalship (or assistant principalship), you know the challenges involved. But there are things you can do to give yourself a leg up on your competition for the job. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that might just give you an advantage others don't have.
What are your goals for the current school year? Maybe your goal is to improve communication, build staff morale, or get parents more involved. Or is your goal just to make it through the week? Wherever you stand on goal-setting spectrum, you will find helpful tips and practical advice in these articles from the Education World archive.
Health and Wellness
Good physical fitness and nutrition are essential if students are to be "fit to be taught." Without those things, they are at a big disadvantage. The articles in this archive share "food for thought" and practical tips for building awareness about the importance of wellness when it comes to student learning.
Hiring New Teachers
One of the principal's most important responsibilities is to hire teachers and other staff members who will develop programs to meet school-wide needs and be dedicated to helping students achieve. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips to help you find the right person for the job.
The Homework Dilemma
The debate over homework -- what kinds, how much, how to grade it -- is an active one in many schools. It is one that impacts the entire school community. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you lead this challenging discussion with the members of your school community.
Just for Fun
Being a principal is not all work and no play. Many principals lead "just for fun" activities that engage students, raise staff and student morale, and build a sense of community. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that might inspire you to let your hair down and have some fun.
Every principal is a "newbie" at some stage in his or her career. Our advice for making it through: take a deep breath, relax and read tips from other principals who have "been there, done that." The advice and ideas in the articles in this archive will help you jump those first-year hurdles and survive -- no, thrive!
Every educator knows that parent involvement is a key to student success. You can't do the job on your own; parents and schools must work together as a team to achieve any measure of success. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips for involving parents in ways that make a difference.
PR for Principals
Principals are many things -- including public relations people. You are the "public face" of your school, the head cheerleader, and the crisis manager. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you get a handle on all aspects of your PR responsibilities.
The Principal's Job
The principal's job is so multi-faceted that no one can possibly master all of its elements. Polishing strengths and building up weaknesses are the focus of every principal's development. The articles in this archive shed light and share principals' reflections on the biggest joys -- and challenges -- of the job.
Programs of Interest
On their own, programs mean little. But many principals have transformed schools by taking good programs and adding large doses of talent, time, and commitment. The articles in this archive highlight programs that are working for others and practical tips for using such programs to achieve success.
Building student achievement is at the top every principal's list. At the elementary school level, the lion's share of focus goes to building achievement in reading. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips for principals who seek creative ways to develop reading skills and scores.
Recess is an important time for kids. It's a time for building social skills, letting off steam, and getting much-needed exercise. But, as most principals know too well, recess can spawn the bulk of the day's discipline problems. The articles in this archive share practical tips for smooth-running recesses.
The School Day: Calendars and Schedules
The pressure is on to squeeze as much learning into the school year as possible. That pressure has forced many school leaders to get creative with calendars and schedules. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips you might need as you consider options for revamping the school year or school day.
Special School-Wide Events
Special school-wide events that get parents and the community involved are tremendous opportunities to shed light on the great work your students and teachers do every day. Those events are excellent PR opportunities too. The articles in this archive will help you plan and get the most out of special school-wide events.
Staff development is at the top of the list when it comes to a principal's responsibilities. Leading change, focusing instruction, and building new skills in staff members are all part of this important task. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips to help you do a better job of leading staff development.
Keeping staff meetings focused and interesting is one of the biggest challenges that principals face. Few principals have innate talent for leading meetings; it is a skill that is developed and fine-tuned over time. The articles in this archive share practical tips to help develop your meeting-leading skills.
Stress on the Job
Every job has its share of stress. But leading a school full of kids and teachers has got to be one of the most stressful jobs there is. A day doesn't go by without presenting some new problem to be solved. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips to help you handle the stress that goes with the territory.
Finding, training, and retaining good substitute teachers can be a monster challenge for many school principals. The way you greet and treat subs can go a long way toward meeting that challenge. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips to help you get subs in the door and keep them coming back.
Evaluating teachers is one of a principal's most important -- and time-consuming -- tasks. But taking the time to do it right is the key to helping your staff and school achieve its potential. The articles in this archive share practical tips to help you plan, carry out, and get the most out of the evaluation process.
Most principals will tell you that time spent building cohesive teams is time well spent. Countless benefits are realized for student achievement and staff morale when time is invested in team building. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you build a winning team in your school.
Each year, the importance of technology in the school setting grows exponentially. As a school leader, you are a key stakeholder in this trend as you model technology use and lead the charge to integrate it in valuable ways. The articles in this archive share practical tips for you in your role as a technology leader.
Like it or not, testing is here to stay. And, believe it or not, some principals are even making the best of it. They use creative approaches to Test Week that help build stronger school communities. Some are even having fun with testing! The articles in this archive share practical tips for making the most of Test Week.
Managing time is key to success in any job, but especially in your job as a school leader. Few people juggle as many different balls as principals and assistant principals do. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips to help you efficiently manage your tasks and time.
From back-to-school cookouts to morning exercises and student recognitions, traditions are a powerful tool for weaving students, staff, and families into a single community. The articles in this archive share stories and practical tips that will help you consider the power of traditions in your school.
Schools that welcome volunteers reap a wide range of benefits. Whether those volunteers are parents, students from a local high school, or other community members, their contributions are immense. The articles in this archive offer practical tips for involving -- and recognizing -- those who volunteer their time and energy.