Ways to Increase Principal Effectiveness and why Time Management as a Principal is Crucial

Posted by Sarah Jones on October 27th, 2022

Being a principal is a difficult job. Managing schools, the teachers in them, and countless other processes that occur in the day-to-day operations of schools is no easy task. It is a stressful role, to say the least. For this reason, principals are often respected and considered to be of great authority in the school system. But nonetheless, many principals find it difficult to manage their time effectively and make use of their skills and talents in the school setting. There are methods that principals can use to increase their effectiveness as principals. Read below about some of the ways that principals can become more effective in general.

Manage time

As a principal, your day is likely filled with all kinds of events and meetings. Meeting with parents and students, meeting with and instructing teachers, and giving presentations are likely things you do on a regular basis. The list goes on and on. One of the most important things one can do as a principal to increase principal effectiveness to manage time effectively. Principals are often needed at many different places throughout the day. Sometimes simultaneously. Principals are people who have lots of others relying on them for all sorts of different things. A school is a large, intricate machine in which principals are often the central cog. The most important thing a principal can do is simply manage their time effectively. Figure out where the most important place to be is at that particular moment. Don’t waste your time on small, less important meetings. These meetings may need to happen as well, but don’t let them bog you down too much if they are not of the utmost importance. You can delegate your tasks to others, such as the assistant principal or the office workers in the school office if applicable. Time management will overall increase your principal effectiveness.

Set some downtime

This may seem to contradict the last point. But despite how busy you may be as a principal, it’s important to not become too overwhelmed by the duties of the job. Take a minute to enjoy a snack or cup of coffee every so often if you are feeling stressed by the demands of being a principal. When you let yourself take a breather, you may actually be more productive in the long run. “Burnout” refers to the state of mental exhaustion one experiences when one works too much in too short a period, and it is a hindrance to your principal effectiveness. Vacations are what many people do every so often to relieve themselves of this feeling. But as a principal, sometimes it is difficult to find time for that in the calendar. Don’t feel bad taking some time for yourself every now and then.

Keep a positive attitude

This one may seem simple, but it’s equally important. Keeping a positive attitude will actually help you be more productive in your day-to-day operations as a principal. When you, as a leader, maintain a positive attitude, this will trickle down to everyone in the school. Healthy, happy teachers, students, and staff will aid in the school’s overall performance and functionality.

Always plan ahead

Make an agenda for the day, month, and year. Planning is the key to preventing wasted time. When you know what you’re getting into on any given day, week, month, or year, you can increase your efficiency enormously. Not having to take time to plan is always going to aid you in making the most of your time. It is always better to go in with a plan. A goal without a plan to reach it will never be achieved, especially in a setting such as a school, where there are countless working factors and people to manage.

Why managing time is important as a principal

Below, we will focus on time management and take a look at why it is such a crucial skill for principal effectiveness.

Improves the well-being of students and teachers

As principal, hundreds, maybe even thousands of students in your school look up to for your principal effectiveness. In between you and them is your staff of teachers, whom the students depend on for their success as students but also in their lives. Managing your school, and using effective time management, is crucial to your students’ success as well as the success of the school itself. The better you are able to effectively manage your time as a principal, the better your school will perform. In short, as a leader, the school depends on you. Both the students and teachers. What’s good for your teachers will be good for you. If your school is well managed, your staff will be happier, and thus more productive in their roles.

Higher test scores

It’s a reality that the school you manage as a principal will be judged by test scores. It is one of the primary, if not the primary metric by which schools are judged and graded upon. Effectively leading your team of teachers will aid them in their ability to help students achieve high test scores that will ultimately show whether your school is an effective and well-run institution. Overall, there are other factors to consider in a student’s education. Test scores are not the end all be all of your school’s performance, and there are other important things teachers should focus on. However, test scores are nonetheless a metric your school will be judged upon.

Better school functionality and smoother operations

Effective time management as a principal will help the school run better overall. Again, a school is a massive machine in which you as the principal are the central cog. Even beyond the teachers and students, you have office workers, counselors, lunchroom workers, janitors, security guards, librarians, and more. Not to mention there are countless people outside of the school that depend on the work of a principal, mainly parents of students. Even the community at large depends on the functionality of schools, as schools are preparing the next generation of citizens and workers on whom society will depend.

School functionality is in general how effective the school is in its day-to-day operations. Being able to smoothly coordinate staff meetings, making sure teachers are teaching the right subjects, and that the school overall is in order all fall under the category of functionality. You can think of a school as a business in which you, the principal, are the manager. Everyone has their separate roles and duties, but the functionality of the school depends on you overseeing all these different people. In short people from all walks of life depend on principal effectiveness, whether we think about it or not.

To sum it up, time management is a crucial skill to have as a principal. Being a principal can be a stressful job that entails many responsibilities. If you as a principal are looking to learn how to manage your time and be a more effective leader of your school, consider looking into the National SAM Innovation Project. The SAM process is an online platform that helps principals shift their focus from day to management to instructional leadership. The process is designed to increase principal effectiveness by creating more time for instructional leadership which is crucial to school performance. Getting bogged down by inefficient uses of time may be hindering your success as a principal. The SAM process has helped principals in schools all across the United States improve their leadership and principal effectiveness, and it can help you as well.

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Sarah Jones

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Sarah Jones
Joined: December 12th, 2019
Articles Posted: 81

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