Principals Strive to Boost School Spirit
Every school experiences its share of challenges, but an invisible were-all-in-this-together spirit can go a long way toward carrying a school community through the highs and lows of a year. Included: Principals share their favorite spirit-building activities.
Principal Traits That Teachers Appreciate
Principals try to cultivate traits that improve communication, demonstrate respect, and inspire vision. They say the key to whether those traits take hold school-wide lies in their modeling of them. Included: Principals share the principal traits that matter most.
The Best Part of My Day
We asked our Principal Files principals What is your favorite part of the school day? Their answers varied widely. As expected, a few prefer the time around the last bell -- but for reasons you might not expect. Included: Whats your favorite part of the day?
The Questions I Wish Id Asked When Interviewing for The Principalship
As you prepare to interview for your next school leadership position, Education Worlds Principal Files team offers advice about questions you might ask when the interviewers invite your participation. Included: Ten principals offer the questions they wished theyd asked.
Every School Has One: Principals Share Tips for Working With Negative People
Most schools have a staff member or two who stand out for their negative attitudes. Allowed to fester, that attitude could infect others and eventually an entire school community. Included: Principal Files team members share how they handle negativity.
School-Wide Rewards Improve Behavior, Boost Achievement
Many schools use rewards as one part of their school-wide effort to boost student achievement and test scores. Others reward attendance, behavior, attributes of student character, homework completion, or other pieces of the student achievement puzzle.
Principal for a Day: Kids Take a Walk in the Principal's Shoes
Have a goal for the students in your school? At your disposal is one of the most desirable and inexpensive incentives you might hope to find -- your job! As an auction item or reward, nothing can motivate kids more than to be your schools "Principal for a Day."
Principal for a Day Programs Provide Lasting Benefits
Numerous school districts use the Principal for a Day experience to connect with businesses and community leaders for a few hours once a year. But many of those experiences turn into lasting partnerships that strengthen the school community and benefit students.
Recognizing the Stars on Your Staff
Chances are the stars on your staff dont expect or require recognition, but you want to recognize and support them in any way you can. So just how do you reward their above-and-beyond efforts? Members of our Principal Files team share what they do.
Your Schools Main Office: Setting a Tone for the Entire School
Is your schools main office set up to be a truly welcoming place? Is its layout conducive to conducting business? Are there tools in your office that you couldnt live without? Our Principal Files team answers those questions and offers tips for improving the office environment.
The School Day:
Fitting In Everything Requires Creative Scheduling
Making time in the school day to emphasize academics, tutor students who need help, schedule planning times for teams, or meet many other needs is a challenge all principals face. Our Principal Files team shares how they make time for these things and more.
Principals Reflect on Teachers Who Made a Difference in Their Lives
Who was the teacher who had the most significant impact on your life? Thats the question we posed to our Principal Files principals. Their responses confirm that the most respected teachers are those who take time to build relationships with their students.
Principals Favorite Read-Aloud Books: 2008
Do you love to read aloud to students? If so, you understand that modeling a joy of reading is one of the most valuable things you can do. So what is the book you most love to share? Here are our Principal Files principals favorites. Please add yours!
Interviewing for the Principalship: Tips from Principals
Interviewing can be a grueling process. But aspiring principals can relieve the pain by heeding this advice from our Principal Files team. Included: Practice interview questions, sound advice, plus a few surprises that might be encountered along the way.
Principals Share Lessons Learned About Communicating With Parents, Others
Seldom does a day go by when most school leaders don’t learn something new about the importance of communication. Here, our team of experienced “Principal Files” principals share their thoughts and tips about best practices in communication.
If You Were Handed a $10,000 Windfall
Principals can make a seemingly small windfall like $10,000 go a long way! Thats what we learned this month when we gave members of our Principal Files team $10,000 to spend. The principals offered wise tips for spending in ways that add true value.
Principals Share Programs That Work
There are hundreds of programs out there. Some claim to raise student achievement. Others aim to improve student behavior, stop bullying, or keep kids off drugs But do these programs work? Included: Principals share ten programs that work.
Order in the Cafeteria: Tips for Improving Behavior and Supervision
Some principals have nightmares about cafeteria time. But with rules for traffic flow and behavior firmly in place, many principals say lunchtime can run hitch-free. Included: Tips for improving behavior, training monitors, and planning trouble-free recess time.
The Best Thing About This Year
So what was the best thing to happen in your school this past school year? Was it a special event? A school-wide effort that paid off? A special recognition? A kid who made great strides?... Read what our Principal Files principals had to say.
Principals on the Move: Tips for Making a Smooth Move
If you have just been assigned to a new school for next school year, or if youre taking your first job as a principal, members of our Principals Files offer practical advice. Included: Tips from principals who have experienced a move or two or more.
Showing Appreciation on Secretaries Day
Administrative Professionals Week (formerly called National Secretaries Week) is celebrated each April. What are you doing to recognize the folks in the front office who keep things on an even keel in your school? Here are some practical ideas
Marriage, Family, and the Principalship: Making It All Work
The demands of the principals job cant help but take a toll on marriages and families. According to our Principal Files principals, keeping families intact requires plenty of effort, teamwork, a well-used calendar, and a cell phone with lots of minutes. Included: Principals offer their advice.
Dealing With Angry Parents
Education Worlds Principal Files team always provides practical tips that help out school leaders in sticky situations. In this article, they tackle the topic of angry parents. Included: Tips for calming upset parents and solving problems.
The Greatest Thing About My School Is
Do you have a sense that the media too often focuses on the negative news about our schools? With that in mind, all principals should be prepared to spread the good news about their schools. And we asked our Principal Files principals to do just that.
Principals Who Cant Live Without Technology
Easy access to technology has changed the way school principals work. So what tech tools cant principals live without? High on their lists are handhelds, calendaring tools, data warehouses, and curriculum software that helps boost student test scores.
Bulletin Boards: Powerful Teaching, Community-Building Tools
Bulletin boards loaded with student work add personality to school hallways and speak volumes about what teachers value most. Included: Ed World's "Principal Files" team speaks about the power of bulletin boards from the primary grades to high school.
Best Bulletin Boards: Principals Share Favorite Hallway Displays
Some bulletin boards reflect student learning. Some attract attention as they display students' work or family photos. Others simply brighten school hallways. Included: Principals share "best bulletin boards."
Teachers Teaching Teachers: Professional Development That Works
If you're not capitalizing on the expertise of your school's teaching team, you're missing out on the most effective professional development around. Ed World's "Principal Files" principals share their experiences with and enthusiasm for teachers-teaching-teachers PD.
The Best Convention Speakers We've Seen...
Have you been to a conference session that truly inspired you? Have you run into a speaker whose message changed the way you do things? Improved your school? Improved your life? Our "Principals Files" principals name the speakers you must see!
Got Motto? -- Twelve Slogans to Help Build School-Wide Community
You've seen those celebrity-filled "Got Milk" magazine ads? Now it's time to meet the "Got Motto" poster principals! They're using school-wide slogans to spur enthusiasm, inspire teamwork, and build community. Included: Twelve mottos for your consideration.
Principals Reflect on the Best Parts of the Job
Being a school principal is a tough job. But many principals stick with it because the joys of the job far outweigh the frustrations. Education World's "Principal Files" team recently reflected on what it is that gets them out of bed each morning!
What's the Most Frustrating Part of Being a Principal?
What are the biggest challenges faced by school principals? Members of our "Principal Files" team recently shared the downside of being a school leader. They reflected about unfunded mandates, kids who fall through the cracks, a lack of parent support, and more.
Principals Offer Practical, Timely "Time Management" Tips
Have you mastered the 3 D's (Delegate it, Dump it, or Do it)? Could a "closed-door policy" help you better manage your time? Maybe you should set up "satellite offices" -- or find a hiding place? EW's "Principal Files" team offers those tips and more.
How Does Your School Handle the Homework Dilemma?
Do you have a school-wide policy? Do students earn a homework grade? What about late homework? Or the effects of homework zeros on student grades? Education World's "Principal Files" team members share their thoughts on those questions and others.
Yearlong Themes: Principals Use Them to Build Spirit, Achievement
Does your school use a yearlong theme to motivate students and increase student achievement? Education World's "Principal Files" team shares a dozen ideas to help others see the power and potential of using yearlong, school-wide themes.
Does Your School's Atmosphere Shout "Welcome!"?
Does your school's atmosphere shout "Welcome!" to parents, students, and staff? Our "Principal Files" team shares how they've created welcoming atmospheres in their schools. Most of their ideas are easy to duplicate. Learn from their ideas, share your own.
Schools Recruit, Recognize Contributions of Volunteers
Is your school crawling with volunteers? Or are you looking for ways to recruit more volunteers? In this article, our "Principal Files" principals talk about the benefits of volunteers and offer tips for recruiting them and recognizing their contributions.
Is Your Parent Newsletter the Best It Can Be?
Education World's "Principal Files" principals agree that parent newsletters should be an essential part of every school leader's communication plan. They offer encouragement, ideas, and advice for those who want to start a newsletter or improve their current one.
What Makes Effective Teaching Teams Tick?
Many of the most successful schools teem with the spirit of team teaching. Educators agree that teaming has huge benefits for students' academic and social growth, but what makes the most effective teams tick? Included: "Ten Commandments" for team teaching.
Excellent Evaluations: Practical Tips for Improving Principals'
Observation, Teacher Evaluation Skills
Evaluating teachers is a principal's most important responsibility. Education World's "Principal Files" team offers their advice for doing this process better. Included: What to look for, evaluation form options, walk-through tips and forms, tips for teachers, more.
Before You Fly Off to That Conference Have You Thought of
A big conference can be the best experience of your professional life -- or a big waste of time! To help you out, our "Principal Files" team shared their experiences. Included: Tips to help you plan for -- and get the most out of -- the next conference you attend.
Principals Offer 30 Ways to Fight Stress
Being a principal is a stressful job -- no doubt about it! But principals do a great job of figuring out how to beat that stress. We asked our "Principal Files" team to share their stress-busting tips. Maybe some of these 30 ideas are ones you haven't thought of before.
Tech & Teaching: Principals Share Best Uses of Technology
Technology can be used to engage students in ways that other tools cannot. So what are the most fun or creative ways principals have seen teachers use the technology at hand? That's the question we asked our "Principal Files" team.
Professional Development Via E-Mail: All You Need is a Keyboard
E-mail is a great way for keeping teachers informed about school goings-on. But are you using e-mail as a tool for providing professional development for your teachers? Ed World's "Principal Files" principals share how they are doing just that. Tips included.
Has the Threat of Lawsuits Changed Our Schools?
A recent survey revealed that most school principals have been threatened with lawsuits. That ever-present threat of legal action -- by disgruntled parents or teachers -- can affect the way principals work and schools run. Included: Tips for handling the threat.
How Can Parents Tell If Teachers Are Doing a Good Job?
How can parents tell if their child's teacher is doing a good job? Sometimes parents' ideas are misinformed. Ed World's "Principal Files" team members offer their perspective. Included: Look at the work students bring home and "the hard sell."
Boosting Test Scores: "Principal" Strategies That Work
Raising test scores is a goal at the top of all principals' lists. It's a task that requires focus and a multi-pronged approach. In this article, Ed World's "Principal Files" team shares strategies that have helped them boost sagging scores -- strategies that could work for you too.
Principals Share "Best Meetings of the Year"
It takes only one waste-of-time meeting to give all staff meetings a bad name. That's why we asked our "Principal Files" team to share a meeting that went exceptionally well. You're sure to find ideas here to help you pump up the value of meetings in your school.
PR Ideas for PRincipals
Is it any coincidence that the word principal begins with the letters PR? Many principals overlook the importance of strong public relations, but these principals recognize the important role PR can play in creating a "buzz" about their schools.
The Interview: Principals Share 30 Favorite Questions for Future
It's springtime, which means it's also the beginning of job-interview season in schools. Since principals are starting to interview candidates for open teaching positions, we asked our "Principal Files" principals to share their favorite questions to ask applicants.
Good Morning! -- A.M. Announcements Build School Community
Are morning announcements at your school deadly dreary and dull? Education World's "Principal Files" team shares how they have used their daily announcements to build school "community." Included: Ideas for spicing things up, getting kids involved, more.
Celebrating Students: Schools Recognize Achievement in Many Ways
When we asked our Principal Files team to share the ways in which their schools celebrate students' accomplishments, we had no idea how many and varied the responses would be. Included: Practical ideas, food-for-thought for all school leaders.
Principals Solve Inclusion Challenges
Five principals share how they faced -- and overcame -- obstacles to inclusion. In spite of budget and staffing constraints, they are committed to educating kids in the least restrictive setting. Included: Ideas for creating an inclusive environment.
ABC Book of the Principal's Job
What do principals do? That's the question we asked our "Principal Files" team last month. They told us what they do, and here are their responses -- from A to Z! Included: Contributions from more than a dozen great principals.
Party! A Year of Special School Events
Getting parents involved is no easy task. But Education World's "Principal Files" team offers some great ideas for school-wide events that are sure to draw parents in large numbers. Included: More than 30 events to add to your school calendar!
School-Business Partnerships That Work: Success Stories from
Schools of All Sizes
Schools and businesses are working together to benefit students, teachers, and entire communities. Successful partnerships can be found across the grades, in schools large and small. Included: Ideas, tips for successful school-business partnerships.
Schools Find Many Ways to Say "Welcome Back"
Will open house be before school opens or sometime after students arrive? How about holding an ice cream social? A scavenger hunt for new students? A meet-the-principal lunch? Included: Our P-Files team shares ideas for welcoming students.
Great Starts: Veteran Principals Offer Opening Day Tips
Are you a first-year principal? A veteran with many years under your belt? Doesn't matter! All principals will learn a thing or two from this article about making the first day of the new school year a smooth one. Included: Tips for a great first day!
Make Graduation Day a Special Day Across the Grades
Whether you call it Graduation Day, Move-Up or Step-Up Day, or Recognition or Promotion Day, the day you set aside to honor your school's "senior" class can be a special one with these ideas from Education World's "Principal Files" team.
Sixty-Five Ways to Recognize Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week
-- and All Year Long
Have you special plans for Teacher Appreciation Week? Are you searching for new ways to show your teachers how much you appreciate their efforts? Education World's "Principal Files" principals share 65 ways to show your appreciation!
Principals Share Lessons Learned: Staffing Decisions, Bringing About School
Members of Education World's "Principal Files" team have turned mistakes they've made into valuable lessons they are willing to share with you. Included: Lessons learned about staffing, bringing about change, and the importance of listening.
Principals Share Lessons Learned: Dealing With Student Discipline, Parent
Members of Education World's "Principal Files" team have turned mistakes they've made into valuable lessons that they are willing to share with you. Included: Lessons learned about student discipline, involving parents, and school poli-tricks!
Classroom Management: Principals Help Teachers Develop Essential Skills
Almost everybody agrees that strong classroom management skills are essential to successful teaching. So what is a principal to do with a teacher who has great potential but needs help with classroom management? Our Principal Files team has a plan!
On the First Day of Christmas, the District Office Gave to Me...
Principals can dream too, cant they? We asked Education Worlds Principal Files team to dream big. We gave them $25,000 as a holiday windfall and asked what they would do with it. They had no trouble coming up with ideas!
25 Ways to Motivate Teachers
What special things do principals do to inspire teachers to keep on learning and improving? What do they do to make their schools fun places to work? Included: Principals share more than two dozen practical ideas for motivating teachers!
I Wish I Had Taken a Course In
A principals day can be full of surprises. In this article, Education Worlds Principal Files principals share the courses they wish they had taken before they took on the job. Included: Ten courses universities might be wise to offer!
Theres No Sub for a Good Sub Plan!
Is there a substitute shortage or not? Do substitutes require special training? How do teachers arrange for sub coverage? What if a teacher doesnt leave behind plans? Are substitute teachers evaluated? Education Worlds Principal Files principals offer a picture of how school districts manage finding, training, and retaining substitute teachers. Included: Elements of a truly helpful "sub folder."
Data Is Making a Difference in These Schools
Many schools are using collected data to drive change. Test scores are analyzed and used to lead curriculum improvement. Survey instruments provide feedback from students, staff, parents, and the community that lead to change too. And data can be used to group students and to assign teachers with proven skills to teach specific student groups. Those are just a few of the ways in which Education Worlds Principal Files principals are using data to lead their schools to success.
Great Staff Meetings: Pointers from the Principals Who Lead Them
Stuck for ideas for effective staff meetings? Looking for ways to make sure everybody is present and interested? The Education World "Principal Files" team has some ideas for you!
Success Stories: Principals Reflect on the Year's Achievements
Test scores aren't the only measure of success in today's schools. We asked our Principal Files team to reflect on the past year in their schools and to share with us the biggest achievements -- the "success stories" -- of the year. Their successes big and small offer food for thought for all school administrators as they plan ahead toward a new school year.
Principals Talk Tech: How Is Technology Integration Going?
Are all your teachers aboard the tech integration express? Did a few miss the train? This week, the Education World "Principal Files" principals share their perspectives on how tech integration is going. For some, the obstacles loom large. Others are using special incentives to motivate teachers to join the technology team.
Teachers Urged to Consider Principalship
The principal's job can be a difficult, high-stress one. But it's a job that most principals would never think of giving up! So what do they see in the job? This week, Education World's Principal Files principals share the joys of the job along with words of encouragement for educators who might be considering a career path that leads to the principal's office.
Character(istics) Count! -- What Principals Look for When Hiring New Teachers
A recent article on Teaching for Excellence discusses what school principals look for in the new teachers they hire. Which of 15 "can-do" characteristics is most important? Education World asks the Principal Files principals.
The Best and Worst Things About Being a Principal
A recent study by Public Agenda documents principals' feelings about their jobs. Today, Education World does its own survey. Our Principal Files principals share their thoughts about the best and worst "principal tasks."
Principals Recommend Best Professional Books
This week is Children's Book Week, so we thought we'd ask school principals to recommend the "best professional books" around!
50 Signs Your School Is a Great School
The events of September 11 shook America. But the horrible attack also made Americans pause to recognize the daily heroic efforts of our public servants -- including our firefighters, police officers, transit workers, and teachers! Education World thought this would be an appropriate time to focus on the good news in our schools. So we invited our Principal Files principals to share the great things that are happening in their schools -- and share they did!
Principals Set Goals for New School Year
The school doors are open; the goals for the new school year are set. This week, Education World invited our "Principal Files" principals to share the goals they have set for the school year that just got underway. One restriction: Nobody was allowed to say "raise test scores" because that goal is a given! The goals those principals shared are as varied as the schools they represent. Learn what principals had to say in this article, which stands as a lesson in Goal Setting 101.
Veteran Principals Offer Advice to New Colleagues
The Education World Principal Files principals have dozens of years of "principal-ing" under their belts. So we turned to them to try to help this year's crop of new principals. Advice from our P-Files principals includes the following: Listen to your staff, from the kindergarten teacher to the custodian. Don't take teachers for granted. Don't forget the kids. And don't neglect your own family!
Has Accountability Taken All the Fun Out of Teaching and Learning?
Does the accountability movement in schools force teachers to spend more time teaching to the test? Does the emphasis on testing take all the fun out of teaching? Education World's Principal Files principals share their thoughts about the impact of standards and testing on classroom teachers and students.
Principals Offer Advice to Job Seekers
Have a plan, a portfolio, and a good attitude! That's just some of the advice Education World's Principal Files principals have for soon-to-be college grads looking for their first teaching positions. Any educator who is involved in a job search will benefit from this advice from the people who are doing the hiring!
Principals Share Favorite Read-Aloud Books
This month, in celebration of National Children's Book Week, Education World asked our Principal Files principals to share their favorite books to read aloud to students. The result is a list of books -- some popular and familiar, others obscure -- that should be on every principal's reading list!
The Principal Shortage -- Why Doesn't Anybody Want the Job?
"I wouldn't want your job!" School principals hear that remark all the time. Is it any wonder? The day doesn't include enough hours to accomplish half of what most principals must do. Paperwork mounts. The stresses of accountability pervade. Support from above and respect from the community border on nonexistent. Finally, considering that most principals work long days and year-round, the pay stinks!
The Principal Shortage -- What Can Schools Do to Attract a New Generation
of School Leaders?
Education World asked our "Principal Files" principals to suggest some ideas that might help grow the shrinking pool of qualified school leaders. Today, we share their responses!
Principals Identify Top Ten Leadership Traits
Education World recently surveyed 43 principals to learn what they consider essential traits of successful school leaders. Vision, trustworthiness and credibility, daily visibility, and a sense of humor were among the ten traits that topped the list!
Ed Schools: Are Tomorrow's Teachers Making the Grade?
How are our teacher education institutions doing? How might they improve on what they're doing? As the school year begins, Education World Principal Files principals reflect on new teachers they have hired in recent years. As well prepared as many of those teachers might be, principals say, colleges could do an even better job of training new teachers for the reality of the classroom.
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
What's the secret to the success of a strong school administrator? And how do you figure out that secret? For many, the secret is learning from their mistakes. This week, Education World's Principals Files principals own up to some of their biggest mistakes -- and, therefore, their biggest opportunities to become better school administrators! These principals share how they learned the importance of communicating, of quiet leadership, of understanding where kids come from -- and of making copies of anything ever sent to the district office, because the originals are sure to get lost!
Decisions, Decisions! A Week in the Life of a Principal
Each day, principals make dozens of decisions -- small decisions and big decisions, decisions that may have minor consequences or major consequences for their staff and students, decisions that affect one person or an entire community. For one week last month, seven of the Education World Principal Files Principals tracked the decisions they made each day. Education World compiled those decisions to paint a picture of "a week in the life of a principal."
Principals Share Parent Involvement Ideas
This month, Education World asked a number of principals to tell us about ways their teachers involve parents in the classroom and the school. Dozens of ideas flooded our e-mailbox! Here we share some of those great ideas!
The School of My Dreams!
This month, Education World challenged our Principal Files principals to dream. "Imagine your dream school!" we told them. Dreams are relative things, one principal told us in response. And that is reflected in the dreams of 20 P-Files principals from around the world. Join Education World's P-Files principals as they share their visions of what a dream school might include. Most of their ideas are quite simple, practical, doable. So why are so many schools so far from their principals' dreams?
Advice for First-Year Teachers -- From the Principals Who Hired Them!
Most principals were teachers too. Once upon a time they were even first-year teachers! Since becoming principals, they've had the opportunity to observe many first-year teachers -- and to see many of those teachers make many of the same mistakes! So what is the best advice these experienced school leaders have to offer this year's crop of new teachers? This week, Education World's Principal Files principals share some pointers that will ensure a successful first year and a successful career.
Making Class Lists Needn't Be a Nightmare!
You've just completed the annual ritual -- the creation of next year's class lists. You've promised yourself you'll look for ways to make the process run more smoothly next year. First step: Read the advice in this Education World Principal Files story from school administrators who've been there, done that.
Good Principals: What Traits Do They Share?
Do you want to be a better principal? Maybe you're thinking about becoming a principal and wondering if you have what it takes. This week, Education World's Principal Files principals tell about the "principal qualities" that are most important to being a successful school leader. Included: Links to other resources that provide further insight.
Teachers Who Make Principals Say WOW!
Whenever he's feeling a bit overwhelmed or stressed, or whenever he needs a reminder of why he's doing what he's doing, principal Ernest Elliott visits the classrooms in his school. The great things that his teachers are doing help to put his problems in perspective. Great teachers -- teachers who make principals stand up and say "Wow!" -- serve as daily reminders of why principals do what they do. This week, Education World's "Principal Files" principals take time out to say "Wow!"
If You Had a Choice, Would You Still Be a Principal?
What draws some educators to become school principals? What keeps them on the job? That's the question Education World asked our Principal Files principals this month. Perhaps some of what they have to say will inspire you as you go about your daily routine.
Tenure or Higher Salary: Which Would You Take?
Principals in New York City were recently offered $25,000 pay raises --- in exchange for concessions, including giving up tenure. Given such a choice, what would you do? Education World's "Principal Files" principals add their thoughts to the debate.
Dear Santa Claus ...
Education World recently asked principals, "If you could ask for and receive one gift for your school, what would that gift be?" Take a look at what they said!
What Do Principals Do? (From a Child's Point of View)
Students at Orangewood Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, share their unique perspectives on what their principal -- Dr. Peggy George -- does!
Principals Search for Words to Rally the Troops!
Want to get the year off to a good start? Looking for the words to motivate your staff? Here are the messages a few of your colleagues plan to pass along to "the troops" at the start of the new school year!
What Qualities Do Principals Look for in a New Teacher?
What will school principals be looking for in the new teachers they hire in the weeks ahead? That's what Education World asked a group of school principals. The principals' responses might help others -- principals and candidates for teaching jobs -- as they focus their thoughts on the interviews ahead.