7 Important Roles of A School Principal

7 Important Roles of A School Principal

7 Important roles of a school principal

A Principal’s role may vary depending upon the team size/structure of a school. Some startups may not have CFOs, CMOs or CIOs and other similar roles. In such cases a Principal is required to step into additional domains and play his/her role. In principle, a principal has to ensure sold grip in the following areas:

1-      Collaboration with Parents, Teachers and Students to identify areas of improvement

  • Surveys – Many free survey services such as SurveyMonkey, Research.net are available. If the school website is based on WordPress, then several free and paid plugins are available. Please check our polls and opinion section. 
  • Parents teacher meeting – While most of the PTMs are attended by the teachers, yet principal should ensure his/her presence in some of the meetings to hear directly from parents. This will not only give him direct feedback about school policies, teaching quality and general management but also give parents a sense of confidence that their feedback was received by the principal directly. This approach will improve school’s respect in society. 
  • “Reach the Principal” mechanism on website and social forums – A dedicated button on the website may be added that should be linked to a form where user can fill in the information, provide feedback, ask a specific question to the principal. Remember, a disclaimer or a guidance need to be provided on this page so that people should only contact the principal if their concern is related to the principal itself. Else they should fill out another form to contact Administration Department. This will ensure principal does not get bombarded by irrelevant messages.
  • Open door policy for Students and teachers – Once in a while, Principal should offer open-door policy for the students to get the opinions from students.
  • Anonymous Feedback Mechanism – An anonymous feedback mechanism should also be promoted so that students can provide honest feedback without being worried of getting identified.

2-      Stay abreast of new techniques and Educational Trends

  • Membership of forums – There are many focus groups where new ideas, recommendations or brainstorming of different educational philosophies are discussed. It will be a great initiative from the principal to encourage the staff in respective domains to spend 30-60 minutes each week on such forums, pick some of the important points (which may add value to their institute) and discuss in monthly school meetings.  
  • Focus Groups – Focus Groups should only limited to the education aspects, instead it may consider new/different teaching techniques, new technologies’ reviews, better accounts and finance management, improved governance and so on.

3-      Maintaining Financial Targets

  • Revenues – One of the prime goals of a school is to ensure that revenues are maintained and improved. Definitely it is linked with ensuring more admissions in the school, providing additional after-school services to students, providing parenting sessions, additional computer courses and skills, providing transport services for students. The principal need to work with Marketing and Product teams to work on new and better mechanisms for improving the revenues of the school. Also, monthly revenue reports must be reviewed with respective teams. Principal should also introduce rewards for the staff who come up with new ideas for producing more revenues.
  • Expense Control – A principle should have a close eye on the expenses. Since running a school involves a large number of procurement activities and several aspects of operational expenses, hence it is imperative for principal to have a deep dive on the expenses (Fixed as well as running expenses). A strong audit mechanism and procurement process must be in place to avoid mistakes and frauds. Read this article on how to reduce business expenses
  • Important: In the name of increasing revenues and decreasing expenses, a principal must ensure that quality of education, staff, infrastructure is not compromised or else it will be short term gain but long term pain.

4-      Facilities, Maintenance and Support Services

  • While the main focus of school is to ensure top quality study, yet infrastructure related services such as (Play areas, classrooms, halls, shops, uniform and book stores cannot be avoided.
  • Our blog “55 signs of a great school” is a good starting point to identify the week areas and to divert the focus for improvement.
  • Fixed Assets & Write off planning – Quarter and annual reports must be reviewed by principal to see what assets require write off. A visionary process should be in place to recover as much money as possible. The assets can be re-used, re-furbished and/or re-sold to similar niche of businesses

5-      Curriculum Adherence and Enhancements

  • Compliance – Local bodies compliance as well as continuous enhancement as per international standards is one of the key priorities of a principal.
  • Quality – Quality of courses’ contents should be assured through benchmarking mechanism.  
  • Developing and implementing School Programs [Educational as well as extracurricular activities)
  • Once in a while, the principal should demand “market analysis report” from his team. Such reports should be based on comparison against the rest of the schools in the vicinity and global educational institute. A visionary principal believes in continuous improvement which can be attained through persistent audits.  

6-      Enforcement of Rules and Regulations

  • Attendance system [For staff as well as for students]  – There are many thumb scanning or card based access systems available that may be used to deploy an accurate attendance system. 
  • Parents and Student portal – School Management Websites / Portals are available that can help on this subject.
  • Teachers’ portal – School Management Websites / Portals are available that can help on this subject.

7-      Qualities of Teachers and Teaching

Great education is achieved via Great education system, State of the art tools and techniques and off-course best in class teachers. Hence teaching aspect cannot be overlooked. This can be achieved via:

  • Qualitative Hiring process
  • Teachers’ training and Knowledge Upgrade Audits
  • New soft skills development (Communication skills, presentation skills, IT skills)

8-      Other Skills of a School Principal:

In order to bring excellence in the above mentioned domains, a principal need to develop and improve below personality traits:

  • Analytical Skills – Should be able to propose new Dashboard
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • People Evaluation Skills
  • Financial Audit Skills
  • Process Improvement Skills
  • Customer Experience Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Decision Making Skills
  • People Management Skills

·       Reference: LiveCareer       ThoughtCo           TheBalanceCareer

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This article provides 12 Study tips and tricks from top students.

There are different types of students when it comes to studying approach:

–          Responsible and Active Students: Students who revise the course material every day and keep themselves synchronized with the class

–          Hardworking but Distracted Students: Students who try to keep the pace of class but cannot keep the momentum due to multiple reasons such as not clearly understanding what teacher had taught, having distractions at home, lack of interest, poor supervision and guidance from parents and so on)

–          Sharp but Carefree Students: Students who possess sharper minds to apprehend things quickly. Such students postpone the study to exam period and quickly refresh the course material to the bare minimum level for passing the exam.

 

 

 

Tops Students Study Tips – Stressful Student

12 Tips – How Top Students Study

1.       Top students do not study just to pass the exam. They study for the sake of learning.

2.       Top students have curious mind. They do not memorize stuff, instead they understand the logic behind any piece of information.

3.       Top students do not hesitate to ask questions. If they are unclear about anything, they raise questions and get their doubts clarified by teachers.

4.       Top students do not over-stress study. If they do not understand something, they seek guidance from class fellows, parents and internet. They are open to different options for satisfying their queries.

5.       Top students do not limit themselves to the academics which are taught in the school, instead they spend some time for reading blogs, subscribe to college bulletins, perform practice exams and download respective apps for learning the same subject from different perspectives. 

6.       Top student maintain balance between study, fun and physical activities. They study for 45 minutes and then take a mental break of 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Top Student Studying – Study tips

7.       They review the school-work contents every day.

8.       Top students are usually punctual and organized. They allocate specific time for revision every day. Even if it takes 10 minutes for reviewing an easy subject, they do not skip it, instead they refresh the course contents to satisfy their conscience / internal compliance.

9.       Most of the times, top students do not believe in joint studying sessions. Instead they are responsible enough to study alone and take full ownership of their education, yet, they consult their friends and have Zoom or MS Teams sessions for unclear contents.

10.   Top students, keep the distracting components away from them before they start their study. This includes but not limited to putting the mobile phone on silent mode, switching off TV screens, eating adequate food to avoid hunger attacks, keeping the pets out of their study place and staying away from naughty siblings. 

11.   They do not just read the books, instead they practice the learned knowledge by writing it. Writing gives them the opportunity for self-assessment.

12.   They believe in SMART approach for studying:

o   S: Specific study – not just hopping on to one page and then to other page

o   M: Measureable – plan to study something which can be ‘measured’ (whether they learnt it or not) at the end of study

o   A: Achievable – choosing the articles/chapters that can be achieved during specific time

o   R: Realistic – decision on whether an article, chapter, question paper can be understood by them by reading or do they need coaching or mentoring

o   T: Time bound – setting target on what should be achieved, learned, practiced or refreshed for stipulated timeline.

 

 

Further Study:

Bonus Study Tips

  • Keep your study area organized. Scattered stuff is one of the major distractions
  • Practice what you study. Explain to a friend, write it on a piece of paper or become a shadow teacher.
  • If you doubt at first, doubt again. Do not leave your doubtful thoughts unattended. Discuss with someone and seek support until you are satisfied.

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Corona has disturbed the education ecosystem as a result of which several problems of online classes have emerged. Schools have adopted online methods of teaching however there are numerous critical problems associated with this approach. It is important that institutions, in collaboration with parents and respective stakeholders, work tirelessly to come up with strategies and action plans to resolve (or reduce the impact of ) these challenges. Below is a list of 24 problems of online classes

24 Disadvantages of Online Classes (E-Learning)

  1. Teachers cannot see what students are doing which directly impacts the quality of education as teachers cannot supervise the students properly.
  2. During normal school hours kids do a lot of physical movement in breaks whereas during online classes no major physical activity happens which leads to kids’ health issues.
  3. Kids learn a lot from each other when they socialize in school. Socializing results in exchange of information and ideas, establishes mutual trust and emotional bonding with each other and improves several personality traits. Online classes directly impact the grooming of kids.
  4. Due to continuous sitting in front of the screen, kids’ eyesight gets impacted or may lead to back issues due to extended sitting in the same posture.
  5. Families with more than one kid have to purchase additional tabs or computers which is a major cost for many middle-class parents.
  6. Many parents and kids have to face IT and network related problems. Families that do not have much exposure to technology suffer a lot due to this.
  7. Teachers cannot judge the level of comprehension of students and sometimes unable to provide ‘additional’ explanations to students. Usually, in regular classroom teaching, teachers can easily judge if the students are not grasping the concepts and he/she can exert extra efforts to let kids fathom the concepts.online classes
  8. Many schools do not have a mechanism to check online homework. Teachers cannot check students’ textbooks, copy books and work books . Many students take ‘advantage’ of this and do not complete home assignments.
  9. Students may not follow instructions and rules and do not comply, knowing that school can’t do anything.
  10. Students and parents are not comfortable with the new ways of class tests and have to put extra effort into learning new mechanisms.
  11. Some students can easily deceive the exam system and take help from their siblings to pass the exam.
  12. Students can easily skip classes. Even if the teacher takes the attendance at start, it is quite easy for student to miss it for the rest of the class tenure
  13. Due to no interaction with class fellowes, students get bored which leads to distraction from study
  14. Students can play online games or watch videos while being ‘present’ in online class.
  15. Students may get distracted due to mic issues, speakers issues or other computer issues [such as patch upgrades, software restart etc]
  16. Students may take extended breaks for water or for washroom which may result in missing important parts of lessons.
  17. Since the students do not have to wake up early and get ready for school, they tend to sleep late which makes them dizzy during the class. Some students may fall asleep during the class. Sleeping late also impacts their health.
  18. Many students cannot practice what the teacher has taught. This lowers their graph of learning.
  19. Students do not get personal attention from the teacher in general and for specific problems.
  20. Some teachers do not produce qualitative presentations for kids to elaborate the contents.
  21. Students keep calling their parents for many small matters which creates stress for the parents.
  22. If one sibling makes noise, others can no longer pay attention to their classes. Small/medium size homes do not have adequate numbers of rooms to manage this.
  23. Some schools are charging extra fees for the online softwares, apps development and other IT services which is an additional burden on parents.
  24. To provide comfortable learning environments, students need a dedicated study table and overall setup. Families with 2 or more kids cannot purchase and manage extra furniture due to space and money constraints.

6 Advantages of Online Classes (E-Learning)

  1. Parents do not have to worry about making their kids ready for school early morning. They don’t need to make sure if the uniform is pressed, the kids’ school bag is ready and their lunch box is packed.
  2. Parents can monitor how their child is studying in the class. How much does he/she participate in the class. Parents can also get a feeling on how other students are responding in the class. This gives them an idea on how much extra efforts are needed for their kids to cover the gap, if any.
  3. Parents save money for not purchasing uniforms, for not paying school bus fees, for not filling the petrol / gasoline and not giving pocket money for the lunch.
  4. Parents do not have to worry about what kids eat from school canteen as they can serve homemade food to their loved ones.
  5. Students are free during the breaks in which they can spend time with parents or can do anything they like.
  6. While staying home, kids don’t get bullied which is a sigh of relief for some of the parents.

Additional resources: Disadvantages of online learning

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‘I am not a teacher, but an awakener.’ –Robert Frost

‘I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.’ –Albert Einstein

‘When one teaches, two learn.’ –Robert Heinlein

‘I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.’ –Socrates

‘Teaching is the highest form of understanding.’ –Aristotle

‘Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.’ –Aristotle

‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’ ― William Arthur Ward

‘The best teachers are the ones that change their minds.’ –Terry Heick

‘Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.’ —Unknown

‘Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.’–Scott Hayden

‘The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.’ –Alexandra K. Trenfor

“I’m not sayin’ I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will.” (Tupac Shakur)

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” (Chinese Proverb)

“Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” (Bob Talbert)

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” (Confucius)

 “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupér)

Sources: TeachThought

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When I saw that agreeable, friendly child helping his younger brother to pack his backpack, I couldn’t believe that he was a bully to the same brother. But that was what his teacher has told me earlier that morning.

She reported an incident of abuse in which elder child pushed his brother from a swing causing him to break his nose and that that incident was not a standalone event in the history of these boys.

How a young child of kindergarten could purposefully harm his brother and that so repeatedly? That question kept the staff bewildered.

Interestingly, dealing with such children and families starts with answering this same question. Teachers and onlookers need to understand that judging these family dynamics is not going to help these families in any way. In contrast, we need to understand that these events and behaviors are more impulsive than planned.

Step 1: Feel Empathy

And, no, here I am not talking about feeling empathy with the victim only. Bully also need as much empathy and acceptance from teachers as victims do.

The process of intervention in any kind of bullying can only start with acceptance. You have to accept the bully as a child. (There is a difference between accepting the behavior and accepting the person showing the behavior. And this difference is the start of empathy.)

This acceptance, which in turn is pre-requisite for empathy towards a bullying child, comes from understanding the pressure that child was going through. Teachers need to acknowledge that every child has an inert understanding about which behaviors hurt or which ones help. On top of this understanding, children are hardwired to choose good behaviors unless they feel internal or external pressures to choose otherwise.

In most cases of sibling bullying, child feel this pressure because their parents haven’t taught them to navigate through the feelings of jealousy that arise when their siblings join the family. Labeling them as bullies or aggressors only adds to this burden.

When a teacher understands this pressure, they have reason to help the bully not just the victim of bullying.

Step 2: Communicate

Most cases of sibling bullying co-exist with complex family dynamics. In such cases, the teacher should communicate the matter with the school psychologist.

In milder cases, they should communicate with the family, and other teachers of bullies and victims, about this matter to create awareness, clear misunderstandings, and create a common gam plan.

Appreciate the human they, victims and bullies alike, are. Be a little more positive towards the duo. If they want to talk about their emotions, lend a listening ear. Create class activities which talk about family dynamics and bonding with family members.

Educate the whole class about bullying and what they can do to stop sibling bullying.

Step 3: Develop Social Skills

Inclusion and tolerance are a few mindsets that help in eradicating any type of bullying. But if a child has to fight with himself (as is the case with a bully), the emotional intelligence is more crucial than these social mindsets.

Include class activities which focus on building socio-emotional intelligence among students. A few common examples include naming emotions of others and themselves, journaling, and building emotions using positive words or actions.

Wrap Up

Sibling bullying starts at home and its elimination can only happen at hope. That said, teachers and school environment plays an vital role in mitigating the losses and creating awareness around this topic.

If you are witnessing such bullying among your students, step up to bring normalcy within the lives of those affected.

 

Author Bio:

Syeda Aruba lives in a world that is not away from yours yet full of contentment and self-satisfaction. She believes that she can, and everyone in retrospect, can produce happiness within themselves by knowing the right tools and making a commitment. She is committed to making the world a better place for all to live in. You can read her stories at her blog.

 

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