The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

My role is to…

I’ve struggled to find the words. In my recent exchanges on Twitter and through comments left for me here, I’ve  been reflecting a lot on how to properly articulate what I see as my role as an administrator in schools when it comes to working with teachers. I made a clear statement “our jobs are different,” a week ago, but I neglected to make clear what my role is. 

Dan Hickey, the dean of school leadership in our area, calls on administrators to “support, coach and supervise.” He’s right, we need to play all three roles. 

This morning, a video I watched as part of the NASSP/McKinney Group Principal Development program that I am fortunate to participate in this summer also provided clarity. Darren Brehm, from Kraft Foods, made the statement “I am here to be a thought partner, to break down barriers, and to get you what you need. I am not here to give you tactical support on how to do the work on your desk.” 

My role is not to plan, provide instruction, create tasks for learners and to provide feedback to students on their progress. Teachers are professionals, and I need to respect their role and allow them  to do the job they were hired to do. My role is to provide the time, space, resources and opportunity for our staff to do their best work. 

Serving as a “thought partner” to our teachers shapes how evaluations look, what classroom feedback sounds like, and gives  me a clarity on my “why.” 


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One thought on “My role is to…

  1. “Thought partner”… I like that term.


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