So, if I were a principal for one day, here are 5 things I would do:
1. Hire the most compassionate, helpful, kind, patient, understanding, friendly person I know to be the secretary. When people come into my building, I want the first thing they experience to be an extremely positive thing. It sets the tone for the school, really.
2. Give every teacher a copy of "Teach Like a Pirate" and force them to read it. Wait, I know what you are thinking: Whoa, whoa, whoa--"forcing" teachers to do something? Surely, you can't be serious! Yet, I am serious. The book needs to be read by educators. It injects teachers with passion and inspiration! Not only would I force the teachers to read it, but I would require them to show me what they learned from the book and how that learning is playing out in their classrooms. I want to see action! I am not big into forcing teachers to do something but I will make an exception here. If a teacher needs to be forced to read "Teach Like a Pirate" then I seriously question their mindset and attitude about why they are here.
3. Hold an in-service/workshop on Twitter to show how it can be used in education to help them with their professional development. I would require all teachers to attend this Twitter workshop so they are at least exposed to Twitter and how powerful it can be. I wouldn't force teachers to use Twitter, but encourage them to try it for a month. Hopefully, after my session, they would see the benefit and begin using it.
4. Encourage my teachers. Make every teacher in my building feel valued and respected. #1 priority. A school is driven by the teachers so I want my teachers to feel like they are an important part of the school because they are! I want my staff to work hard and seek out ways to reach all students and in order to do that, they need to feel respected and valued. I would make a point to provide words of encouragement to my teachers regularly.
5. Hold teachers to a high standard. The days of textbook/worksheets every day are over. Students need more than that. They need to be empowered and engaged. Their curiosity needs to be fostered. There are so many ways to do that, both tech and non-tech, that it's simply not acceptable to roll out worksheets every day. This could ruffle feathers, but I'm okay with that because it is what's best for the students and as principal, that is my job. I would also hold teachers to a high standard of putting forth the effort needed to build relationships with the students. No more screaming at kids. No more making students feel anxious or nervous. "The cup of kindness needeth run over" throughout the halls and classrooms.