The Gentlemens Tour

What makes a great principal compiled by Kevin Rolle Alabama Vice Principal

Kevin Rolle Alabama businessman is now COO in a University in Alabama. We all doubt that being a principal was what Charles Dickens when he started to write the first words from A Tale of Two Cities which may describe the feelings and thoughts most principals have about their occupation. It’s common that most principals are overwhelmed with their workload associated with the many facets of their job, it seems, with so many facets that no Superhero could do all  and manage all the job entails and do it all well without some mistakes or good delegation, because it would be impossible for one person to be accomplished at a long list of a Principal’s tasks that includes;


community relations

curriculum/professional development

dealing with parent issues


facility management/coordination

program/mission evaluation and strategic planning

school safety

student assessment

teacher evaluation

Most communities should recognize that the principal’s job has changed dramatically in the last 10 or 20 yrs. Mostly due to the support of hiring administrative assistants or assistant principals to share the many list of duties and roles.

So, in saying that, what roles and duties would a principal never give up? What roles and duties would they willingly pass over? The answers to those questions depend on the individual principal. We asked some principals to tell us which roles and duties provided the most job satisfaction. And of course, to counter that, which duties and tasks they would get rid of. And here is what they said.

Perhaps you will find it surprising to learn that quite a few of the Principals enjoy the student discipline responsibilities of the post most of all. “I enjoy the direct contact with children, steering them to make better choices,”   “The issues that arise provide settings for real-life learning. Learning to make wise decisions in our roles as ‘good citizens’ is a process where caring and patient guidance and reinforcement are vital.”

Discipline was among some favorite duties too. “Because the work day of this administrator is so fragmented, the time I get to spend with students is the connection I have to what is really happening in my school. When they come to my office for a discipline notice, they are in serious need of an adult willing to listen to them and a voice they can believe in. I try to give that to every student.”

“I’m good at getting kids to confess their faults,” added another principal “Rarely do I have to raise my voice to children. I express my disappointment in their behavior in such a way that they want to do better next time. I also make sure to check up on the students periodically, so they know they are not forgotten, that I’m still concerned, and that I still care about them.”

Working on curriculum and professional development is an area to which a number of principals gravitate. “Instructional leadership is what originally attracted me to the position of principal,” says another  “Working in an environment that is striving to continually improve student learning and achievement is what excites me.

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