A principal is a leader and greatly influences a large community of students, teachers, and parents. Principals are responsible for handling the entire administration of a school or educational institution, which is a tough job.
It is important for principals to continuously improve themselves and develop professional skills to add value to the life of the students and promote the growth of the educational institution. This article talks about five ways in which principals can develop professional skills. So, let’s dive in.
5 Ways Principals can Develop Professional Skills
Take Feedback from Students and Teachers
Teachers are your biggest assets, and you have to provide the utmost value to your students. Rather than relying on your own opinion, knowledge and viewpoint, constantly gather feedback from the students, teachers and even the administrative staff. As a school or college principal, it is your duty to ensure that everything is in place and the students are getting the best education.
Feedback from your team members will help you identify the problems they are facing and stay informed about the latest developments in your school or college. It would help if you also asked them about the feedback on different policies you incorporate in your school. It will help you determine their pros and cons and if they should be taken forward.
Don’t forget that the parents play a very important role in the development and education of a child. Do not leave them behind while taking feedback. Find out what they think about the policies of the school and if they think they could be improved.
Doing this exercise will not only help you manage the school in a better way but also develop your professional skills. Listening to others before taking any action is a very important trait that a principal should have. Carefully listening to other people’s opinions will help the principals develop listening skills.
Learn From Your Mistakes and Improve Communication Skills
As a school principal, you will play a role similar to the CEO of an organization. Being in a managerial position, you will be required to handle a team of teachers, office administration, and thousands of students and their parents. All this cannot be done without effective communication. Constantly communicating with your staff and addressing school assemblies can help you develop great communication skills.
Ensure your tone is soft and not very imposing or bossy while talking to your staff. Rather than ordering them, consider their opinions and ask them for suggestions before taking action. Remember that body language and tone of voice are as important as your words while communicating. Always keep a positive body language and learn the dynamics of speaking well. This will help you build trust among your team members and the students.
Throughout your journey as a principal, you will commit many mistakes and make many wrong decisions. Take time out to reflect on your actions and decisions frequently to identify the mistakes and why they happened. This will help you learn from your mistakes and instill more confidence. Learn from these mistakes and try not to repeat them in the future.
Take Strong Decisions
As a principal, you will be required to make strong decisions within your work tenure. It can be quite difficult to handle so many people and make a decision that benefits all of them. As a principal, you will be required to consider various factors and aspects before taking a course of action. From setting the operational plan to managing and organizing the school events and functions, the responsibilities of a principal are numerous.
Almost all the decisions have to be made by the principal. In addition to being an efficient decision-maker, a principal also needs to make faster decisions and, at the same time, ensure that the decision benefits everyone.
As a principal, you should first identify all the stakeholders and determine the impact of the decision on each stakeholder. To develop strong decision-making skills, you must make it a practice to consider all the aspects carefully before making your decision. Doing this will help you improve your decision-making skills and ensure efficient and effective decision-making.
Stay Updated About the Latest Developments in Edutech
The education industry has witnessed a massive change in the past few years. The rapid digitisation within the country has also led to the emergence of new technologies that can improve the education system and make it more accessible. The wave of online education, which was already on the rise, got a further boost during the time of the pandemic when the schools were closed.
People recognise the difficulties schools and colleges face in managing the various operations and tracking the performance of both students and teachers. Various platforms like Teachmint have emerged in recent times. These platforms provide various services like 2-way live and recorded classes, storing and sharing study material, tracking the student’s performance, classroom monitoring, admission management, fee management, parent engagement app, and much more.
Staying aware of the latest technological developments in the education industry can help principals improve the efficiency of operations. Such platforms can make it much easier to manage a school and reduce the costs incurred and the time consumed.
Be a Part of the Online Communities
The principal should have efficient time management skills. They should spend their free time engaging with peers and other informal groups on social media and other educational forums. Being part of an online community of educationists can help you learn about different types of crisis-like situations and what should be the right course of action during difficult times. It will also help you stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in the education space.
These online communities can also help you build meaningful collaborations with meaningful institutions and people to promote interschool activities, excursions, competitions, workshops, fairs etc. Furthermore, it can help you learn from the experience of others and make improvements in your policies and decisions.
While managing an educational institution can sometimes get intimidating, engaging in continuous professional development can help make it easier for the principals. Moreover, the availability of online educational platforms can further help the principals promote online as well as offline education and maintain connectivity even in times of crisis.