Five Tips for New School Administrators
If you’re a new school administrator, your career shift can be a smooth one. You likely have extensive leadership experience that will help you become a successful school leader. Experience as a department head, a student teacher mentor, a lead teacher, or extracurricular activity or professional development coordinator all involve skills directly applicable to educational leadership positions. Following are five easy tips to help you become a strong administrator and an effective leader.
- Develop Effective Communication Skills.
Whether you’re speaking at a school assembly or board meeting, or writing a grant proposal or an administration or leadership philosophy statement, it’s crucial for you to communicate clearly and concisely. If you struggle with written or oral communication, you should improve these skills.
The way you express yourself orally or in writing is an indicator of the type of leader you will be. Your goal is to appear confident and knowledgeable, both in writing and in person.
- Stage School Spirit Events and Fundraisers.
High student and staff morale will boost test scores and enrollment rates and will reduce teacher turnover rates. Regular assemblies and school-wide events will boost school spirit and attract favorable attention.
Fundraisers are an effective way to generate revenue for areas that may require financial assistance. Requesting student and staff participation will create a school community in which each member feels valued and included.
- Promote Community Participation.
It’s important for you, as a new school administrator, to make a positive first impression on the community. Host a school open house, and encourage staff and student involvement in the community. This will help you build strong relationships with local individuals and businesses.
At some point, you may need to reach out to these people. If you’ve already built positive relationships with them, and they respect both you and the school, this outreach should be easy.
- Build Relationships with Parents.
Parents play a vital role in both their children’s success and in the success of their school. They’re an important resource when extra help is needed for staging fundraisers or other school-wide events. Building strong relationships with parents also allows you and your staff to get to know the students better, making it easier to discover how best to meet each one’s unique needs.
You can easily strengthen relationships and increase communication with parents by hosting parent workshops and by attending parent association meetings.
- Be Optimistic and Enthusiastic.
Always remain upbeat and positive, even when you’re facing serious school issues. If school leaders are optimistic and express the attitude that things are on the right track, the attitude is and will rub off on the rest of the staff.
Enthusiasm is an asset you should possess and display. Expressing enthusiasm makes it easier for you to get the school community on board with you. Also, offering encouragement to both staff and students cultivates a positive and productive learning environment.
Incorporating these five easy tips into your new role will ease your transition and help you become an effective school administrator.