Principals Think Big

As Principal magazine set out to address the next big ideas in education, we knew that we had to reach out to cutting-edge principals themselves.

Topics: Innovation

Kaylen Tucker, Ph.D.

As Principal magazine set out to address the next big ideas in education, we knew that we had to reach out to cutting-edge principals themselves. That’s why we turned to NAESP Center for Innovative Leadership fellows Andy Jacks and Hamish Brewer to guest-edit the issue. Jacks and Brewer have been giving a voice to principals across the nation through their popular video podcast series. In it, they surface solutions to common challenges and uncover how principals are overcoming obstacles in unique and innovative ways.

Over the past year, they have covered topics ranging from creating unique learning spaces such as a chicken coop and indoor walking path to conducting Snapchat book reviews and starting the day with a dance party—all in service of achieving school goals. Through these innovative ideas, school leaders have given students and families an opportunity to speak out, made physical and mental health a priority, improved academic achievement, and created fun and effective learning spaces that keep children engaged and teachers feeling valued.

In addition to ideas surfaced “fresh from the field” by the NAESP Center for Innovative Leadership, this issue also delves into trending topics such as vetting education technology products, preparing for Generation Z teachers, principals as advocates, and women in educational leadership.

As we all gird ourselves to meet the new challenges schools will face during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, I hope that this issue of Principal magazine provides some of the inspiration, strategies, and resources you need to “think big.”

— Kaylen Tucker, Ph.D.

From the Guest Editors:

Our goal as leaders of the NAESP Center for Innovative Leadership is to include, empower, and connect school leaders across the country who are doing real work in their schools and getting real results with their kids. We are proud of the stories and reflections we hear about—the ways in which leaders are driving their schools forward into a new era of instructional leadership. We all have an important voice and powerful lessons to share.

We’ve designed a Leading Lessons poster to help keep you inspired (between pages 22 and 23). Please connect with us and continue to help inspire other school leaders across the country!

Andy Jacks (@_AndyJacks) and Hamish Brewer (@Brewerhm)