- The most effective principals know how to delegate authority to maintain a healthy work-life balance, find ways to address student mental health needs, and learn how to address the issue of disgruntled employees in their workplace, according to Education Week.
- A special report titled "Principals Under Pressure" details six top challenges principals shared in a survey:
- managing work-life balance
- meeting students' mental health needs
- addressing toxic employees
- supporting special education services
- being creative in retaining teachers
- openly communicating about safety and security protocols
- Effective principals are also not overwhelmed by special education requirements because they are armed with both legal knowledge and empathy. They also realize they have the power and creativity to retain their best teachers and know how to communicate openly about school safety protocols so students, parents and staff members feel safe.
Most school principals have a tough job because so many responsibilities fall on their shoulders. New principals especially face challenges as they assume managerial duties and focus on instructional issues. However, principals can learn valuable tips about how to be more successful from others who have gone before them.
The challenges facing principals fall into two broad categories. First, educational duties involve overseeing the general educational demands of a school and staying aware of the changing laws and best practices governing special needs students. They must also address the growing mental health issues affecting students while developing and maintaining a safe and positive school culture where students can thrive.
In addition to those duties, principals must also manage people, a task that is difficult for some administrators. Recruiting and retaining good teachers is an important part of the process and one that demands time and commitment to forming positive relationships. Dealing with frustrated or unhappy teachers and other employees who may try to undermine principal leadership is another big issue that consumes time and energy. Amid all this, principals need to maintain their own sanity by creating a positive work-life balance. Otherwise, burn out will set in—and that is not good for students, schools or the school district.