What Makes an Effective School Leader?

What makes an effective school leader? The definition of a leader is one who leads or commands a group or organization. It is vital in a school system to have strong and effective leaders. So who are theses leaders in the school system? A synonym for leader is actually principal. Principals are key in the smooth success of schools. So what qualities define a leader? What makes someone an effective one?

Here are a few characteristics of an effective school leader:

1) They are very ambitious and have high expectations for the success of their pupils.

2) They consistently show that anything can be achieved despite being disadvantaged.

3) They are always working on their personal development and how they can improve their teaching and learning skills.

4) They are skilled at assessing and tracking the progress of pupils and provide the appropriate support based on detailed knowledge of each individual.

5) They care about the progress and personal development of every pupil and keep all of them included.

6) They have a clear vision for what is best for students — for their academic, social, and emotional learning.

7) They know that high-functioning teams are essential; they know that a healthy community (for children and staff) will contribute to stability, retention, and investment.

8) They are emotionally intelligent. They are typically calm, grounded, empathetic, and are able to deal with conflict between people.

Positive School Culture

From my personal view, the principal of a school is mainly responsible for creating a positive school culture and is the one person who can make or break it.

Principals should push to make sure their schools are exceptional by encompassing these characteristics:

-Positive and uplifting leadership. It is the obligation of a school’s principal to be enlivened, inspired, and committed in the spirit and the demeanor of everyone in the school. Your example will set the tone for everyone else around you. Make sure to communicate and display good values and respectable behavior. The faculty will definitely notice your behavior and feel compelled to mimic it, and then the students will be more likely to follow and adopt that same behavior as their own.

-Mutual respect. Establishing mutual respect is key to opening all doors—conversation, understanding, discipline, etc.—with your teachers, counselors, students, and parents.

-Making sure everyone feels included. Acknowledge work that is done well and get to know those around you, because they are all a part of your team. Everyone will work best together when they all feel like they have a role.

Making a School a Safe Space

A school should be a safe space for everyone and it is up to the principal to set the tone for creating that safe feeling. Students should feel like they can come to the principal with any problems they might have and expect a compassionate adult who is actively listening and working with them to find a solution. Principals should also encourage teachers to contribute new ideas to make the school better and, overall, model what the best choices are.
Principals should set the bar for everyone in your school community regarding how to act, how to speak, how to regard others, and how to lead. It is your job to help everyone become the best version of themselves. A positive school culture may be only an aspiration or idea to some, but do your best to implement it in your school, and turn it from an idea into a practice. And then, principals, make it the principle.