Putting the “Pal” back in Principal -By Emily Pytlik

As I’ve been reflecting about the possible changing role I’d have to acclimate myself to in becoming an administrator, I find myself most concerned about losing touch with those I’ll lead. The idea of a “No Office Day” struck a cord with me given the fact that I felt like our last administration was never out of her office, and our new administration is never in her office. In an effort to become the latter type of administrator, I began researching other ways that principals try to stay connected to their staff. I came across a blog by a principal who reflected on her own experiences and suggested that her role be termed “Lead Learner” instead of Principal. She credited Joe Mazza, who was mentioned in the “No Days Off” article, as an example of this in action. Both administrators recognize the difficulty in implementing out of the office practices into their daily life, however, they make it a priority to send a message of, “we are in this together,” to their staff and students by being visible and approachable. As I wonder how I will “return to the cave” and call people to follow my leadership, I think more and more that relationships are an essential component. This blog provides ideas of how to maintain that connection to the teachers. View her blog posting with suggestions of how to make your role as an administrator that of a Lead Learner. Can we put the “pal” back in principal and still maintain the authority of the job? Can Lead Learners work this dual role and be fully effective?


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