The success of schools depends on various factors. According to Bond, (2007) the most important of them is to arrange these factors in an orderly manner and drive them towards an organized goal. It is the job of an efficient leader to know the priorities of the school and to become a strong pillar for education (Bond, 2007). There are certain leadership elements that a principal of a school must exemplify in his or her leadership (Johnson, 2009). This paper lists these elements that define an ideal principal for an inner city school. By following these guidelines, the rate of students graduating from any school under the Atlanta Public School System can increase significantly (Furlong et al., 2009).
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- Be a sound academic leader – First, a principal needs to be an excellent academic leader and teacher. Every minute detail of the curriculum should be understood and modified, if necessary. Whether the curriculum is followed or not, and if there is any shortfall in any particular area would have to be monitored by the principal. Also, he or she should be able to demonstrate their skills, if necessary.
- Follow cultural values – The work and other cultures prevailing in the school influence a school’s success. The principal would have to be very strict about this culture in the school, and allow no one to hamper the cultural value. If the principal is new, and the school has a cultural value that is not suitable for the success of the school, he or she should modify the cultural value to positive and keep their mission from being hindered (Johnson, 2009).
- Be a strong administrator – This is the biggest and toughest job of the principal. He or she has to be diplomatic and strict at the same time. The school activities, the recruitment of staff and teachers, management of the events, examination and other administrative operations are all core principal duties. In order to carry out these duties smoothly, it is better to decentralize them in small spheres and supervise them closely (Bond, 2007).
- Monitor and mentor at the same time – The principal should not hesitate to punish anyone who deliberately causes injuries to the school’s well being. However, when there is a lack of efficiency, he or she has to become a mentor to the staff or teacher to show them the correct way.
- Be tactful –It is very necessary to promote the school’s vision, mission, and the culture within each and every person concerned, in such a way that they do not perceive them as burdens. So in that case, it is necessary to be strategic and diplomatic rather than applying direct force (Furlong et al., 2009).
- Be a medium of connection of the school to the community – The school should be the ray of hope to more and more students. It is necessary to present it to the community with a positive, refreshing, and hopeful image. On the other hand, the feedback gathered from the community can be beneficial for the improvement of the school (Johnson, 2009).
- Sort out the smallest issue within the school – There should be no one in the school nursing a negative feeling concerning issues within the school. Without delay, the principal should intervene. Such small things could accumulate to create big disturbances to the positive images of a school (Bond, 2007).
It is not an easy job to perform all of the tasks mentioned above. However, a leader leads by example, and the principal, the pillar on which the school stands, has to manage all of these duties efficiently. Moreover, there must be some improvisations according to the available resources of the school and the situations prevailing there, which vary from school to school. The principal has to examine ways he or she should effectively distribute the jobs among teachers and staff, and if necessary, be a little experimental in the execution of the jobs. Once the duties start to be executed smoothly, the performance of the school should peak to the zenith.
Bond, B. (2007). Principals and school resource officers: Defining roles. Principal Leadership, 1(8), 52-55.
Furlong, M., Greif, J., Bates, M., Whipple, A., Jimenez, T., & Morrison, R. (2009).
Development of the California school climate and safety survey-short form. Psychology in the Schools, 42(2), 137-149. Web.
Johnson, S. (2009). Improving the school environment to reduce school violence. Journal of School Health, 79 (10), 451-465. Web.