Principals are near useless. Near…I would not be so mean as to say totally. I know they serve a purpose. But, hey, let’s be honest. How often is your principal in your classroom? If you are lucky, it is twice a year for the district mandated formal observation. Principals do not teach classes so how could a principal possibly understand life in your classroom? They cannot relate. When seen in the big picture, principals do not do much to impact instruction, and as such, are near useless.
However, my principal is not. Lisa teaches.
Lisa came into my classroom and team taught over several weeks. She planned lessons that helped to further student progress toward the goal. This team teaching started with a shared interest in group work dynamics within a high school setting. I offered up my classroom as a place to do action research, and she accepted.
Oh yeah, she did this with my 6th period class.
I watched her teach. I made mental notes of great strategies that worked. She read, provided informal assessment, and flexed to whatever needs the students had. As a colleague, we debriefed at the end of the day. She even, as most teachers do, brought supplies to class that she either had or bought.
This is not just an isolated event.
Lisa has team taught with other teachers, sharing ideas, building instructional strength, doing action research. She works with teachers outside of the school day, constantly pushing the idea of how we can impact the learning of our students.
Lisa teaches when we have staff meetings. She does not shy away from pushing our thoughts. She constructs deep discussions that leave staff uncomfortable, but a good uncomfortable—one that makes you reflect.
There is no other way to look at it. My principal is a teacher, and it is great.
You may be surprised by a principal who teaches, but what should not surprise you is that my principal is also a NBCT.
If you invited your principal to team teach with you, would she? Why don’t you find out.