A Letter to Principals About Levers

Tom Vander Ark:

I hope you enjoyed a few days off after a busy year. To the normal craziness of spring, you probably had the heartache of considering budget cuts and layoffs.
You probably work in a state and district that imposes a lot of constraints on your hiring, curriculum, materials, school hours, and facilities. After food and transportation, if your district takes more than 5% for administration your kids are getting shorted.
Let’s think about the improvement levers you’ve been able to influence:
1) Culture: the behavior you model, the tone of your communications, and the way you deal with challenges shape the culture of your school community.
2) Goals: the way you describe and champion learning expectations for your students and goals for your staff may be your most important role. The habits of mind that you encourage could shape student thinking for decades.