What Great Principals Do Differently #2

This is the second post of my review of Todd Whitaker’s book (as mentioned in the title.)

Todd notes some important points about developing your teachers.  Basically, if you inherit the staff, the only way to make the school better is to make them better.  However, if you get a chance to hire a teacher, then hire a leader.  Essentially, hire someone who has talent and will influence both students and staff.  Whitaker states that all great principals should have a goal where the school should become more like the new teacher.

For the above to occur, it is essential that new teachers keep their enthusiasm.  Hence, new teachers must be made welcome and feel empowered.  There cannot be a “pecking order” where only the ideas of senior staffers are listened to.  Also, begin induction at the first interview.  If you feel you have a strong prospect, lay out your expectations at this time.  This point resonated with me because I have used similar techniques when interviewing candidates.  However, I need to improve and expnad on my ideas.  Ask questions outside  the usual, “What’s your philosophy of education” type questions.  Ask scenario type questions to see if you are on the same page as the candidate.  Your potential leaders may look you in the eye and make a committment during this process.  Also, you can state what you expect of them.  This way the candidate can get a feel for your school and the dynamics of the position.

I could go on but I want to keep these posts concise and provide a “snapshot” of the book.  Check the link above to find a copy or your professional collection at school/board office.

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