Conceptual Illustration
Leadership Opinion

The Principal Is In: Advice for Principals

The job of a school leader can be a challenging one, but you don’t have to face those challenges alone. In this biweekly column, principals and other authorities on school leadership—including researchers, education professors, district administrators, and assistant principals—will offer timely and timeless advice for their peers.

Have any questions, feedback, or interest in sharing your own advice in the column? Please write in to AskAPrincipal@educationweek.org.

Walters Principal is IN Female Administrators
Vanessa Solis/EdWeek via Canva
School & District Management Opinion The Lonely Road for Women Administrators
It takes hard work to avoid being unfairly judged as “pushy,” “aggressive,” or “emotional”—while still sticking to your principles.
Erica Walters, January 17, 2023
3 min read
Illustration of a Black male teacher teaching
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via canva
School & District Management Opinion 4 Ways to Make Your School Better for Black and Brown Teachers
Want to diversify the teaching force? An important place to start is understanding what educators of color need from their principals.
Sharif El-Mekki, January 3, 2023
4 min read
Conceptual photo illustration of a professional meeting around a table where each participant's ideas is represented by a variety of visuals representing diverse perspectives.
For The Principal Is In column: We have all heard the advice: Never be the smartest person in the room. What does that mean for principals who, at times, can feel like they work on an island? Here are three strategies to ensure you are not the smartest person in the room even if you are the only leader of the building.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management Opinion Principals, Don’t Try to Be the Smartest Person in the Room
Here are three strategies to make sure you’re always growing as a leader, according to one associate principal.
Nick Davies, December 13, 2022
2 min read
112322 opinion Principal is IN 15Stanton Anderson collaboration
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management Opinion Principals, Make Room for Teacher Collaboration
The pandemic only reinforced the importance of dedicated time for professional development and collaboration.
Megan Stanton-Anderson, November 29, 2022
4 min read
Photo illustration of a tangled path that ultimately straightens out superimposed over graduates lined up on a stage.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via canva
School & District Management Opinion The #1 Trait of a Good School Leader
As an administrator, I've needed to prove that my students can be successful.
Erica Walters, November 15, 2022
4 min read
Illustration of a frustrated person in front of a wall of letter building blocks.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management Opinion Why One Principal Is Asking Her Staff to Do Less
I have been complicit in the stress my staff is feeling. Here’s how I’m changing that.
Crystal Thorpe, November 1, 2022
3 min read
Illustration of a blank "hello my name is" sticker
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management Opinion How to Lead a New Team: Advice for Principals and Administrators
Turning a page in your career requires bravery. Here’s some advice for fitting in a new district.
Lisa Meade, October 18, 2022
3 min read
conceptual image of teacher remembering why they became a teacher
Vanessa Solis/Education week via Canva
School & District Management Opinion Pandemic Isolation Damaged School Culture. Here’s How Principals Can Reset
I made it my mission to help my staff reconnect and recommit.
Darin A. Thompson, October 4, 2022
4 min read
Illustration of checklist on a map
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Canva
School & District Management Opinion Advice for New Principals: The 4 Things to Focus on First
There’s a lot new school leaders are expected to learn. Here’s where to start.
Lebon "Trey" D. James III & David E. DeMatthews, September 20, 2022
4 min read
Principal Advice SOC
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
School & District Management Opinion Parents Berating Teachers? Making Decisions Without the Data? Advice for Principals
A year marred by COVID-19 has created new challenges for principals. Here are some answers.
Sharif El-Mekki, January 21, 2021
6 min read
School & District Management Opinion My District Reversed Course on the Implicit Bias Training We Need. What Now?
The principal advice column takes on communicating district decisions you disagree with, optimizing virtual lunch bunches, and more.
Tamara McWilliams, November 19, 2020
5 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion How to Support Teacher Morale, and Other Urgent Advice for Principals
How do I discuss race in my mostly white school? How do I rethink our social-media policy? Sharif El-Mekki has answers.
Sharif El-Mekki, October 21, 2020
6 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
School Climate & Safety Opinion How Do I Run My School From Self-Quarantine? And Other Principal Quandaries
School leaders, do you need help with remote staff meetings? Culturally responsive classrooms? We've got answers.
Tamara McWilliams, September 2, 2020
5 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
Teaching Profession Opinion How to Host a Virtual Back-to-School Night, and Other Timely Advice for Principals
"How do I win over parents who see this as a political issue rather than a public-health one?" Sharif El-Mekki answers quandaries from school leaders.
Sharif El-Mekki, August 19, 2020
6 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
School Climate & Safety Opinion How to Evaluate Teachers During Remote Learning, and Other Advice for Principals
This principal advice columnist answers your questions about remote teacher evaluation, staying accountable on racial equity, and what she wishes she’d known as a first-year principal.
Tamara McWilliams, August 5, 2020
6 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
Assessment Opinion Advice for Principals: Remote Teaching, Competitive Colleagues, and Lots of Uncertainty
In a new advice column for school leaders, former principal Sharif El-Mekki answers your questions about leading during the pandemic.
Sharif El-Mekki, July 22, 2020
6 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
Assessment Opinion The Principal Is In: A New Advice Column for Principals
"I feel like we've opened a Pandora's box of grading." Tamara McWilliams takes on this and other urgent concerns for school leaders in a new advice column.
Tamara McWilliams, July 8, 2020
6 min read