National Principal's Month
October is National Principal's month. It is a month set aside to give principals honor and recognition for the work they do. Your perspective of what it means to be a principal may be different based on experiences you have had as a student, parent, teacher, community person or even movies that you have watched. Watching movies like Lean on Me, The Principal, or even Kindergarten Cop gives a very different view of the role of a principal that may not be necessarily complete or entirely accurate, but the characters paint a picture in your mind. While Mr. Latimer in The Principal was fearless in his pursuit, I am not sure I know too many principals that have ridden their motorcycle down the corridor of a school.
All said principals have rather superhero status in my book as they have such broad responsibility to serve hundreds of students and parents, work with teachers and support staff, and communicate effectively with the community. They also keep records, complete state reporting, and finalize program and staff evaluations. Their days are tightly scheduled and they are required to meet several deadlines. They track their budgets, make purchases, and work with staff and community groups to find additional funding to fill in the gap. They manage the school and lead the staff in making sure that our schools provide the best possible learning environment for our students. They serve as instructional leaders and coordinate with staff to provide high-quality professional development. They are engaged in their work early in the morning and typically leave later in the evening as they are wrapping up student activities.
I could also write a long list of the great things our teachers, coaches, and support staff do, but it is October which is National Principal's month, so I want to extend public appreciation for our principals. All of our staff is important; it takes all of us working together to make things come together each day to support our students and, a high-quality principal is an essential piece of the puzzle.