School Leaders and Dept. of Edu. Reflect on “Day in the Life of a Principal”

The U.S. Department of Education just finished up their “Day in the Life of a Principal” visits this week. The principal shadow visits were in honor of National Principals Month, and marked a concerted effort by the Department to learn more about the challenges school leaders face on a daily basis, and the critical role they play in ensuring all children receive a high quality education.

Throughout the week of October 26-30, 2015, over 80 principals were shadowed, several of which included AFSA members.

AFSA attended a debriefing session at the Department of Education following the week of shadowing visits, hosted by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Delegated Deputy Secretary John King. At the event, Secretary Duncan, King and Department staff discussed what they learned on their school visits, and what impact federal policies have in schools, and how to better support the principal in their role as the key lever of school culture, teacher evaluation and student achievement.

Some of the topics discussed were:

  • How principals have a hand in everything and are involved with every aspect of the school. From teachers, support staff, students, parents, external partners, contractors and more, the principal oversees all aspects of the operation.
  • The principal sets the tone. When students arrive and they see that principal in a good mood it is leading by example.
  •  They lead people. They are managers. They set the bar.
  •  Schools need more social and emotional support for students.
  •  Way too much testing. Takes up too much time and emphasis during instruction.
  •  The best principals know how to make other people leaders.

Watch the event webcast here