From the Editor: Loving the Change Process

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is: Learn to love the process. I’ve returned to this concept over and over again because it applies to myriad challenges, as all good axioms do. So, whether the task at hand is introducing a new behavior support program for students or developing an enhanced professional development experience for teachers, it remains vitally important to focus on the individual stages of an initiative instead of only narrowly focusing on the outcome.

The articles in this issue of Principal that address the theme, Transitional Stages, also reinforce leadership as a process with one key ingredient: continuous learning. The principals who share their transitional leadership experiences in “Setting a Vision for Change Leadership,” for example, consistently remark on the importance of educating themselves, their staffs, and their school communities about new initiatives. “When we are faced with a large-scale change, we begin by gathering information to build understanding,” explains Jacie Maslyk, who is principal of Crafton Elementary in Pittsburgh. And, in “New School, New Pre-K Challenges,” Raphael Crawford suggests that principals systematically learn about pre-K students and their needs before taking on a program.

But it’s not just school leaders, themselves, who benefit from embracing the process of learning. This is also true for K-8 students, who are not only maturing physically and emotionally, but also neurologically. In “Empower Students With Brain Knowledge,” Judy Willis argues that teachers can help students realize their true potential by teaching them how their brains work and how learning occurs. Knowledge of the learning process provides students “powerful keys to success in school, careers, relationships, and all other aspects of life,” writes Willis.

In addition to these articles on how principals can support their staffs in creating a seamless continuum of learning, this issue features veteran educators’ tips on time management in our special series for early career principals and an update on assessments for Common Core State Standards. And, as always, the issue features numerous tips and strategies to help you with teacher and staff development—maximizing classroom walkthroughs and professional learning communities, for example.

Your comments are always welcome, so send me an email at to let me know what you think about the issue.

—Kaylen Tucker


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