Principles for Principals

Ethical Technology Education

Saw this LinkedIn post (link below) in my feed today. This sentence really jumped out at me: “…60%-80% of a principal’s time should be devoted to being inside of the classroom.”!!

Having spent some 42 years in full-time teaching with over 35 in Middle Management roles (mostly HOD roles) both in NZ and Australia (Tasmania & Queensland), I have never known a principal to spend more than a few hours a week at best in the classroom! I have worked under around 15 Principals, most of whom have not inspired me in anyway to be honest.

I have felt that even in the very best of schools I have worked in, the principals for the most part have been fairly ordinary. Good at their positive mantras, but often poor at living up to them. There have been some great exceptions though with a few who were in my opinion true leaders who did lead by example and who showed real moral and ethical fortitude (increasingly rare in the last year or so).

And I have known other Principals who had great insight and intuition and did know some of their students well despite a lack of classroom time.

Perhaps the best Principal I ever worked for called me in one day and told me he was going to fire one of the staff in my department based on feedback from students and parents. I was seriously shocked, and told him that this teacher was one of the best he had and he needed to see him teaching. He then did go into his classroom and that teacher kept his job (And he does not know this to this day).

So I do agree that Principals need to be in the classroom a lot more, though here in Secondary Schools in Australia I don’t see the percentage ever getting above 10%.

What I do see though is that teachers lose touch with the coalface (whiteboard) of education very quickly (2-3 years) when they move into totally admin roles with no normal teaching duties.

Thus, I would argue that all administrators, including the Principal need to teach at least one normal subject class every year. Who agrees?

#teaching #education #leaders #principals


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