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Les Potter is currently the Assistant to the Superintendent (Educational Services Overseas Limited) in Egypt. He received his doctorate from the University of South Carolina. Les has over 45 years...
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Administrators Visibility

With schools slowly returning to normalcy, it is more important than ever to have the administrative team visible to students, teachers and parents.

A principal and administrators must be flexible to accommodate the changing needs and expectations of the school and community. Now more than ever, students, staff and parents need to see the principal and administrators in the halls, at bus duty, in the classrooms, in the cafeteria and at extracurricular activities. It is also important to hear the principal's voice over the intercom during announcements. Staff and students are quietly reassured when they see the principal and administrators throughout the school day. This unfortunately puts more pressure on principals to be up and out of their office. but paperwork can be done before and after school and on weekends. You and your administrative team need to be visible when students and staff are at school.
 
The personality, attitude and behavior play an important role in the principal's leadership style. The ability to adapt to meet the expectations of the people being served is very important. After school activities are very time consuming for principals. But parents (and students) want and expect the principal to attend the games, plays, and concerts. I have followed a number of principals in my twenty years as a principal (at seven secondary schools) and I have seen a number of principals attend the Friday night football games and the boys varsity basketball games. The other "minor" sports and JV teams were covered by the assistant principals. Parents and students notice when the principal is there supporting them and when he/she is not. If the principal is not at the JV girl's softball game, parents and players believe that the principal does not care about their sport or them.
 
The last time I was a principal of a large high school I tried to attend every game and activity. If I could not, basketball games and wrestling matches were on the same nights for instance. I would let the parents and players know why I would not be there and would attend the next game. We had over 20 sports at that school but parents only recognized the sport their child was playing. I would even attend practice after school to talk and encourage the players. 
 
Interesting that parents and students give more positive comments concerning the principal's presence at activities and games than any academic innovation the school might implement.  If you do not believe this, go to a school board meeting that is bringing up discussion about cutting sports, cheerleading or band to save money. I was a professor in Mobile, Alabama when this actually happened a number of years ago. Parents went enmass to the school board meeting to save their sports and asked if unnecessary academic programs could be cut first or increase class size to offset the cuts to athletics. ESPN even covered this event at the school board meeting. Fortunately, they found money elsewhere so nothing was cut that year.
 
No one ever said that being a school administrator would not be time consuming. It is and will continue to be. The principal and the administrative team need to be flexible and visible for the good of the school and community!
 
Les Potter, Ed.D.
Assistant to the Superintendent
The American International School West, Cairo Egypt