Introduction The post of Principal is always a game-changer. It can be used very productively to build any great institution, be that a school or a college. The Principal is one who has to totally understand the situational realities and be very pragmatic in creating an ideal learning environment, with available resources. In the case of private schools, the Principal can also appeal to well-placed Alumni to chip in with some funds for the development of the school. Yet, he is the chief architect who can make a vital difference to the image of the school at any point in time.
Be that as it may, a Principal should a) Always walk the talk b) Always articulate the vision and action plan very clearly to everyone c) Make the administration support the core teaching process d) Enable every teacher to feel comfortable, and e) Always be ahead of the learning curve.
Always walk the talk The Principal can indeed become a talented leader and one who is respected by all teachers if he or she is simply able to walk the talk. In other words, practice what he would preach. As respect has to be earned and not demanded, those who stand out for their superior leadership qualities are always respected. They will be able to easily rally all teachers around their vision, when he or she is credible, infuses optimism, and stands out for the quality of their out-of-the-box ideas.
Visionary Principals would see an opportunity when none seemingly exists. In today's conditions, a Principal who is able to motivate his own staff members to teach a little extra to the plus two class students and coach for competitive examinations, for example, would stand out.
If he is able to build good relationships with the local community, he can, for example, invite a local branch manager to visit his school and teach the basics of banking to the students of standard nine and above classes. If Principals are themselves hard working and are very punctual in their routines, the staff will easily emulate such behavior.
Always articulate vision and action plans clearly While the vision is always to become the best school or college in that particular area, the short-term goals and the long-term goals as well as the action plans regarding these are important as well. For example, if the college had introduced a new course, like say, a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management, with an affiliation to the local University, it becomes crystal clear that unless the college develops collaborative efforts with the industry, the course will not take off. At least a few guest lectures are very much required from industry experts. Similarly, the internships should be taken very seriously and the Principal should monitor these developments without fail, even if that means putting in several hours of hard work.
Make the administration support the core teaching process The bread and butter of any educational institution are the teachers, who are the primary change agents. The administrative staff has an important role in supporting the core teaching process and making the learning environment align with the overall Vision of the institution. A bit of regular communication with the non-teaching staff and a clear role definition for each of the employees will go a long way in enabling this ideal situation.
Enable every teacher to feel comfortable Today, software development has become so easy. The school should appoint a graduate with two years of experience. This person could be just a BCA graduate. However, such a candidate should be made to develop software that will make the lives of teachers very easy. For example, there are many formats and formal rules to be followed for documentation related to the ISO standards, if the school is ISO-certified. The school teachers should feel the documentation process is an additional burden that eats into their teaching time. They should use friendly software that can minimize their tasks. Only a hands-on Principal can bring about this vital change.
Always be ahead of the learning curve There are cases of highly qualified Principals. The concerned person would know History and Sociology and would be able to suggest small value-additions in terms of knowledge. Those who have higher qualifications in a diverse range of subjects will always be respected by any teacher. For, such Principals easily bring to the table something new at any point in time and make the learning process all the more enjoyable. It is often seen that those who motivate teachers to do the small little things in terms of innovative teaching methods and appreciate the teachers are not only ahead of the learning curve in academics, but also in the management of people.
ConclusionA Principal is a change agent of a tall order. He can easily become a visionary leader if he is effectively able to marshal his human resources towards better goals and aims to make the school a good place for quality learning. The aforesaid steps will be the right steps in the above direction.
A Principal of a college is the chief of administration as well as the teaching faculty of the college. The main purpose of the educational institution is to see that the student in their college will learn well and settle well in their lives with the help of the learnings from the institute.
A Principal should always spend his time properly in all the areas but major thrust should be given to motivating the teaching faculty and should be able to utilise the expertise of his teaching staff properly. A Principal is the leader of his college and a leader should always lead from the front. He should see that discipline of the organisation will always be maintained.