I’ve always believed that creating the best schools is about creating the right culture. In this NY Times Op-Ed, David Brooks, agrees that improving schools starts with the principal and “What do principals do? They build a culture.”
In Good Leaders Make Good Schools, Brooks highlights some recent successes in education and draws the connection to the whole school environment and “the liturgies of practice that govern the school day: the rituals for welcoming members into the community; the way you decorate walls to display school values; the distribution of power across the community; the celebrations of accomplishment and the quality of trusting relationships.”
And that begins with – shout out here- to excellent principalship! “Principals set the culture by their very behavior — the message is the person.”
Yet, this doesn’t happen alone. An outstanding leader will implement what we have known: “Research also suggests a collaborative power structure is the key. A lot of teachers want to be left alone and a lot of principals don’t want to give away power, but successful schools are truly collaborative.”
So, fellow leaders… think about what you represent everyday in how you communicate with all people, where you spend your time, and how you trust your team as leaders.
“When you learn about successful principals, you keep coming back to the character traits they embody and spread: energy, trustworthiness, honesty, optimism, determination.”