What makes a principal effective?

Any principal knows that being an effective school leader is a complex, multifaceted job. According to The Wallace Foundation, there are five practices great principals do really well. They:

  • Shape a vision of academic success for all students;
  • Create a climate hospitable to education;
  • Cultivate leadership in others;
  • Improve instruction, and
  • Manage people, data, and processes to foster school improvement.

In a new series of videos by Wallace, principals from around the country discuss how these five principles play out in practice.

For instance, in a segment on cultivating leadership in others, principal Marie Jackson says she’s become much more intentional with recognizing her teacher leaders.

“Recently, I was in a conference with a teacher and I said that: that she could help others learn from her, that she was a leader. And she started to cry,” says Jackson. “She told me she just didn’t see herself as a leader and didn’t realize that other people at the school saw her as a leader as well.”

In the videos, other principals share stories on creating leadership teams, giving students a voice, navigating new data plans, and getting school communities on board with a vision.

Visit the Great School Leadership in Action page to view all the videos. 

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They have consistent, high

They have consistent, high expectations and are very ambitious for the success of their pupils.
They constantly demonstrate that disadvantage need not be a barrier to achievement.
They focus relentlessly on improving teaching and learning with very effective professional development of all staff.
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They are expert at assessment and the tracking of pupil progress with appropriate support and intervention based upon a detailed knowledge of individual pupils.
They are highly inclusive, having complete regard for the progress and personal development of every pupil. Bamboe sokken
They develop individual students through promoting rich opportunities for learning both within and out of the classroom.
They cultivate a range of partnerships particularly with parents, business and the community to support pupil learning and progress.
They are robust and rigorous in terms of self-evaluation and data analysis with clear strategies for improvement.

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