Search form

Take Five for...

Offering Advice to
First-Year Principals
(Part 2)


"Be visible in classrooms and throughout the school. Make it a priority to visit classrooms every day. It's amazing how much information you can gather just by being out of your office and approachable. Save paperwork until the end of the day when things have quieted down." (Helene Dykes)

"Don't try to do it all yourself. Give the teachers everything you can to help them do their job; then get out of the way and let them do it. Remember, it's better to give than to receive. Give them compliments. Share victories. Give them credit." (Ralph Lowe)

Join the

As an experienced principal, have you a piece of advice to share with principals who are just starting out? What have you learned that might help them out? Click to join the conversation. Share your thoughts and ideas so others might learn from your experiences.

"Get in and learn how the school works before making any major changes. Some of the things you think would never work may be great ideas that work for that school." (Betty Peltier)

"Have a guiding mission. Develop a real mission statement that is very personal, one that's just for you. No need to share it with the world. Keep it where you can see it everyday -- on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator, for example. Read it every day, then go do it!" (Teri Stokes)

Bill Myers's wife is a social worker. Years ago, she recommended a book she thought would help him develop a good relationship with his children. "The book, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber, is one I recommend to parents, teachers, and administrators. I still use many suggestions from the book on the last of my four children. We rarely have heated confrontations because I have learned my lessons well."

Take Five more to read this entire article from Education World's "Principal Files" series:
"Veteran Principals Offer Advice to New Colleagues"
(Education World -- August 28, 2001)