When you became an administrator, you had a basic idea about the expected principal duties. You knew how to steer the vision and the mission of teaching and learning in your school. Then you realized that there was a host of unexpected principal duties you wish had been mentioned in the job description. We’ve culled 10 of the most critical principal duties that should really be listed on your résumé.
1. Super observer
An essential principal skill is having the ability to observe people and their behaviors carefully. A careful observer knows that actions and habits say a lot about an individual. Since you’re a great principal, you’ve used these observations to advocate and support the people in your community.
2. Lead learner
Leading is learning. As such, you have a plan for your own professional development, and you’re always prepared for shoptalk. You are a voracious learner, and you are excited to learn about new ways to meet student needs.
3. Head tidier
As an administrator, you cannot walk by a piece of trash anywhere on school grounds without picking it up. If you were not in the habit of tidying up public places before, you are now.
4. Calendar minder
When does spring break start next year? When is the first day of school in 2021? Is there a special schedule on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day next year? As crazy as it sounds, you probably already know the answer to these questions, because you are a calendar expert.
5. In-house diplomat
The smart people who hired you know that you are comfortable with conflict and that you are solution-oriented. Your real test came when you managed to please both the robotics coach and the debate coach, who’ve been fighting over space for years.
6. Official greeter
Making eye contact with every person you see is essential and warmly greeting them is key! You are a pro.
7. Handbook follower
You follow every single rule that you are expected to enforce. If kids are not allowed to take food out of the dining hall, you can’t either. You joyfully and enthusiastically model the rules you expect kids to follow, and you know the school handbook inside out.
8. Emergency chocolate provider
You have to be prepared for anything. Having an accessible stash of chocolate in your office is essential (and appreciated)! Not only is it delicious, but some say that chocolate boosts brain function.
9. Small-talk expert
Small talk can be tough, especially for principals who might be more introverted. Nevertheless, you’ve mastered this skill. Here’s how you became an expert: you learned to ask a lot of questions. People love to talk about themselves!
10. Chief storyteller
As the ranking community leader at your school, this is your most essential unofficial duty. You love to tell the story of your school community and celebrate your work together. Your story always includes a clear, inspiring vision for teaching and learning.
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