4 Leadership Qualities Teachers want in a Principal

Teachers need their leaders to have strong leadership skills.  What specific skills do they actually need from a principal to be successful? I did a quick survey with my Facebook Leadership Group and one other teacher Facebook group. I had tons of responses.  Let’s take a look below.

Teachers need principals who are organized and prepped.  A principal who puts students first.  Someone who knows how to build effective relationships with the staff.

Here are some of the items teachers requested in my survey.

(don’t push them off on others), respect, trust of their staff, support
and faith in their employees, presume positive intent, thinking
partner, shared leadership, constant learner, allow teachers to try new
things, someone who will get their hands dirty, provide opportunities
for teachers to take leadership roles and grow, someone who will fight
for their teachers, etc…
Here’s a few more responses from the teacher survey:
 Trust, not a micro-manager, someone who will fight for the teachers (again), students at the center of every decision, someone who pushes me to be better, someone who offers suggestions, knowledgeable, a decision maker, a principal who remembers what it’s like to be in the classroom,  a communicator, an organizer, visible, stands up for me, dedicated, responsible, follows-through, fair, professional, etc..

Here are my 4 leadership qualities teachers need from us to be successful.


A campus leader needs to be able to strategize and problem solve.  Think differently and out of the box some times.  There’s always a way to accomplish every situation.  Some times you need to step back and see it from a different angle.  Test out new ways of handling situations.  Forge ahead.  Be a problem solver…a go-getter…challenge yourself.  Teachers need principals who think strategically. 


 We can get more accomplished when we have our thoughts together.  Same thing goes for all of our “stuff.”  If you are OCD (self-diagnosed) like me, I have files for everything.  My files have files.  Laughing out loud.  Color-coded of course. 
Binders and folders store all my important documents.  When the school throws a curve ball in your day, you are armed with all the items at your fingertips.  Teachers need principals to have it together.  We need to be able to run an efficient and effect campus.  Free of chaos.  Being organized helps you attend meetings on time.  It sets an example for your teachers. 


Principals must always put students first.  It’s that simple.  It’s not what’s best for me.  It’s not what’s best for you.  It is what is best for the kids.  It’s not always easy.  No one said it would be.  Be a principal who isn’t afraid to take a stand and do what’s best for our students.  We, as principals, have tough decisions to make.  There are days when we will get yelled at by a parent.  A day when a teacher dislikes your decision.  Do whatever it takes.  Stand firm.  Stand tall.  Promise to put students first.  Our teachers need that.  They need us to lead and deliver.  Make a lasting impact.  Teachers need principals who put students first.


Relationships matter.  How you treat people matters.  Good leaders ensure everyone has a voice.  Keep an open mind.  When teachers have ideas, don’t shoot them down.  Don’t hold teachers back.  Give them the support they need will  help them be success.  When teachers are successful, students are successful.    Build a strong team where everyone works as partners.  When relationships are built on trust, the campus is stronger.  Great teams build each other up and the team becomes stronger.  Building relationships is one of the strongest skills related to leadership effectiveness.  If your campus is divided, chaos and tension-filled, take time to build true lasting relationships.  Teachers need principals who can build a strong unified campus.

Stephanie McConnell

Stephanie McConnell

I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.

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Hi, I'm Stephanie

Hello friend! Welcome to Principal Principles. I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.


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