Strength of an Effective Principal: Listening
‘Listening’ is the ability to hear what others around you are saying and then act accordingly. The effectiveness of a principal is often defined by their ability to listen to those around you. As a leader, you must surround yourself with good people that you trust. You must be willing to listen to those people even when what they say is difficult to hear.
Principals must be willing to listen to all stakeholders including teachers, parents, students, support personnel, and community members. Each one brings a different perspective to the table and all of them are important for improving your school. Principals must be aware of the fact that they may not have all the answers but by listening to those around them, they might be able to fill in.
Teachers are the most important member of the principals team. Good teachers make a principal’s job easier. When a teacher voices a concern or offers a suggestion, a principal should listen.
Teachers, especially senior teachers can provide valuable suggestions related to curriculum, classroom strategies, etc. teachers know how to get their work done. If a principal does not listen to teachers are setting themselves for failure.
Kids are overlooked easily. How students perceive things does impact student learning. Students can offer a different perspective on a wide variety of issues. As the principal, you should be accessible to students on a regular basis. Let students know that you value their opinion. They should know that you will listen to them if they bring something to you. Be it a complaint or a suggestion.
All parents should be heard. Every educator will tell you that having engaged parents who value their child’s education makes their jobs easier. Parents should feel welcome to schedule a meeting with the principal. Their opinions should be valued. Parents should be encouraged to speak up their opinion. Principals should seek out parental opinion through surveys, phone calls, or casual conversation.
Support and Community
Your support team is often undervalued and hard-worked. They often know what is going on within the school better than anyone. Their opinions, ideas, and suggestions matter.
Principals should solicit feedback from community members on a regular basis. A community that has a vested interest in the school is beneficial for everyone.
This article is inspired by and contains xcerpts from an article on Thought Co website. Read the original here.