Who would be a school principal these days? Alarming school issues appear daily in the media and there are reports of ever-increasing workloads impacting stress levels of principals, resulting in high attrition rates. As the role complexity increases and demands surge, would-be applicants must consider deeply their ambitions, their capacity and their knowledge about what it means to become a school principal.
Fortunately, some teachers still consider becoming one, as, more than ever, our schools, our teachers and our students need great leaders. Theory, research-informed guidance and practical advice based on experience is gathered here for aspiring principals by a former school principal, now researcher in educational leadership. Topics of leadership skills development, self-care and wellbeing, the role of a mentor, effective career planning, and practical application advice are interrogated through reflective activities to probe motivations, aspirations and leadership career goals. The book can be used independently, as part of postgraduate study or during conversations with a mentor.
Uniquely, this book also provides insights and pertinent advice from other current and former principals, and senior education executives predominantly in the Australian context. These rich personal narratives provide practical advice and, in their own individual ways, portray the realities, including the joys, of the job. What is experienced by principals in Australian schools, however, has significant alignment with what is facing school leaders in countries around the world. The maintenance of leadership pipelines must continue to be a focus worldwide to ensure that students are in schools led by great leaders.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. It’s Who – and What – You Know. 3. Planning the Way Ahead. 4. Taking First Steps. 5. A Foot in the Door. 6. Hoops to Jump Through. 7. Under Scrutiny. 8. The Chosen One. 9. Meeting and Greeting. 10. Now you’re a principal! Appendix - Activities
Susan Simon, BA JtHons., DipEd., ProfD, is a veritable alchemist of professional practice and educational leadership theory, having been a school principal for many years prior to becoming an academic. Combining insights from the field with fruits of investigative research, she passionately supports aspiring principals to turn their dreams into gold.