How Principals Navigate Challenge

A Commentary Collection


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The job of the school principal is one that demands multitasking. One minute you might have a teacher in your office discussing instruction, and the next you could be facing a crisis. As a veteran school leader, you know the ability to juggle is key to your success. As an aspiring or new school leader, the challenges ahead can be difficult to imagine.


Writing for this special package, current and former school leaders offer insight on how they managed and recovered from some of the most difficult—and often unexpected—circumstances of their careers.







What It Takes to Be a Crisis Principal in a Hurricane

What It Takes to Be a ‘Crisis Principal’ in a Hurricane

November 28, 2018

During a disaster, school leaders often double as first responders. Associate professor of ed. leadership William Sterrett offers four lessons.









A School-Improvement Guidebook: Empower Teachers

What It Takes to Lead a School After a Shooting

November 28, 2018

How can leaders help their communities after a tragedy? Principal Warman Hall shares three lessons he learned firsthand.









A School-Improvement Guidebook: Build Partnerships

What It Takes to Make a 4-Day School Week Work

November 28, 2018

Funding shouldn’t have the last word on how you run your school, write Oklahoma K-12 leaders Nathan Gray and Jon Myers.









A School-Improvement Guidebook: Ask for Help

What It Takes to Make Suicide Prevention a Priority in School

November 28, 2018

In the state with the nation’s highest suicide rate, Hannah Nieskens and Melissa Robbins have zeroed in on student mental health.









A School-Improvement Guidebook: Cultivate Trust

What It Takes to Be a Human First and a Principal Second

November 28, 2018

Leadership is a test. Paul Kelly, a very busy principal, explains how he learned to pass.








This special section is supported by a grant from The Wallace Foundation. Education Week retained sole editorial control over the content of this package; the opinions expressed are the authors’ own, however.

Illustrations: Melinda Beck for Education Week