What makes a school successful? The principal… the teachers… the students… the parents?
Can one individual (or group of individuals) be the determining factor of success or not?
Can leadership come from the middle or must it originate and live at the top? None of these questions are easily answered, but in my experience as an educator, it’s principal leadership that makes all the difference.
It’s this difference that we are so desperately needing in our schools…We need leaders who recognize and pay homage to ‘what was’ in an effort to maximize and capitalize on ‘what could be.’ Schools are in need of a leader with a vision; a vision that is bigger than any one individual.
We need leaders who see the big picture. We need leaders who won’t shy away from asking tough questions and won’t yield on having high expectations for all with a belief that all can achieve in their own respective way. We need leaders who are willing to be visible. We need leaders who are willing to stand up and speak when others choose to remain quietly seated.
We need leaders who are able to adapt and shift based on what’s needed of them. There’s no such thing as black and white and straight-forward when it comes to education, so being flexible is absolutely critical.
We need leaders who can commit to making a decision even when they know the decision won’t be popular. People will eventually come to terms with something they don’t agree with; people can’t come to terms with uncertainty and confusion.
We need leaders who can effectively and clearly communicate. Last week at Year 13 retreat this was emphasized and gave me something to reflect on this week.