Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Secrets to a Successful Principal and Teacher Relationship

In order to establish a successful principal and teacher relationship it’s important to begin with the end in mind.  The start of a successful principal and teacher relationship begins with ones expectations.  Great relationships are founded on good communication and trust. When there is a positive relationship both the principal and teacher have major enthusiasm regarding each student’s success.  Today is an important day in the history of the principal and teacher relationship.  Schools have been an easy target for budget starved governments.  It’s time to be proactive in working together toward innovative leadership and instruction.

During the past few years, I witnessed the total reorganization of entire school districts.  The principals and teacher who were committed to a school for two or three years are changed with no warning.  Many principals and teachers must change in order to receive the same level of success that they experienced in past schools.  Starting in a new environment can be positive when the new principal and teachers work together.  A book that I suggest is “Who Moved my Cheese.”  It’s important to look at life from an opportunity perspective.  Each day is a chance to do better than you did yesterday.  When principals and teachers seek common areas of agreement much more can be accomplished throughout the school year.  The important thing to recognize is the value of making changes to lead your school in a new direction.

One key priority for the principal is establishing a sense of confidence in the school staff.  Each principal serves as a role model for teachers who aspire to become principals.  Good relationships are established when there is ongoing concern for the resources that will help teachers to be successful. The principal should find ways to interact with teachers throughout a week.  It may be convenient to work until the next meeting but addressing issues as they arise will make staff meetings less cumbersome.

The principal must have the same heart for the children as the teachers.  A principal who teaches a class during the year has a better awareness of the students needs.  This principal can collaborate with teachers who are providing similar interactions.  For example, a principal who is teaching one of the sections of Algebra I can get ideas from other teachers.  This will foster a greater sense of collaboration.
It’s important to have goals and objectives for the entire school.  The principal and teachers should come together to create goals and share ideas.  The summer should not be the last time that the principal, his staff and teachers meet.  Everyone in the school should be aware of the goals and objectives.  There should be some visible ways in which everyone knows that the school is making progress toward these goals.   During regular staff meetings the goals can be part of the ongoing discussion.

Finally, it is important to expect the best for your school.  When the principals and teachers are working together and they have high expectations for the student great things can be accomplished. The principal and teacher relationship is a key element of each school’s success.  Today students need schools where they can learn how their knowledge applies in their homes and communities. If you are interested in your students success starts with building a solid principal and teacher relationship.   Stephen Jones is an author, professional development presenter and national speaker. Invite Dr. Jones to speak at your conference or to present a workshop. You can reach him at 610-842-3843.