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Top Tips on the Successful Running of a School

A school is where young minds are formed, and so much is done in the way of shaping future adults. As such, their importance cannot be overstated, and this means that as much as possible needs to be done to ensure that their running is as successful as possible. There is plenty that can be done on this particular front if you are a principal or another type of school leader. Of course, what constitutes a successful-looking school to one person may vary wildly from another, but there are some central principles that can be discussed and operate in a universal manner.

In the following blog post, there will be a series of pointers and useful tips that can feature in the successful running of a school. While it is impossible to go into a great level of detail on all of them in a single blog post, they can certainly give a lot in terms of real and practical information and ideas that you can really sink your teeth into and use. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Set Out and Establish Your Priorities

Before you go any further, you need to have a very clear set of priorities in front of you that are going to be utilized. In this way, it is going to be much easier to set out the goals that you would like to accomplish and the necessary steps that are going to get you there. Before priorities are established, it is important that you think about what you are trying to accomplish. This could all depend on what sort of school that you are running. Targets are going to vary, and while some of them may depend on very real data such as exam results, there may be others that are less tangible. At the same time, they still need to have some sort of measurements involved to work out whether or not they have been ultimately successful in the eyes of impartial parties. Once you have established these priorities, this does not mean that they are always going to stay fixed over time. Instead, you may find that they are inevitably going to vary and change once review processes are undertaken.

Be the Change You Want to See

While this is a piece of advice that has been used in many different ways over the years, it still rings true. Ultimately, if there is a change that you want to see, there is no doubt that it makes sense that you practice what you preach as a school leader. If others are not able to clearly see you making a difference, then it is going to be much harder for them to follow suit over time. Ultimately, there is certainly something to be said for changing yourself first – particularly if you are in a leadership position. For example, if the change is that you want to project a calm demeanor whenever you are talking with children, you need to do a lot in terms of controlling your emotions and ensuring that they never get the best of you. If you want to run a school that makes conflict resolution one of the most important aspects that runs at the very heart of what you are doing, there is no doubt that taking a qualification such as an online masters in school counseling can really make all the difference in ensuring that you are fully equipped with the necessary skills that can then be passed onto other staff members.

Make Sure Feedback is Delivered in the Right Way

The only way that people are going to become better at their jobs is if they are able to receive regular feedback, and this is certainly no different in a school environment. However, if feedback is going to be properly delivered, it should be done so with a sense of calmness and some clear targets that people are actually able to work towards. Otherwise, it can end up having a negative impact on attitude, which means that it has the exact opposite effect to the one that was initially intended. Also, the old adage of praising in public and reprimanding in private is still one that has value in all sorts of different ways and should be taken seriously.

Foster and Develop a Positive Attitude Throughout the School

A positive attitude can really make such a big difference in a school environment that it cannot be overstated. To begin with, this is something that is likely to be mirrored by colleagues and students alike, which can really have an impact on the overall feeling that is experienced throughout. Positivity is something that can often be difficult – especially when you are halfway through a long term, but you should aim to do everything that you can to really maintain this in the darkest times. Again, this is where leading from the front can play such a crucial role in everything that you are doing. If you do not have a positive attitude yourself, it is going to be so much harder to simply expect that everybody around you is going to.

Put Your Students First at All Times

While this may not seem like it is something that needs to be made clear, it is certainly worth a timely reminder that students should be at the very heart of everything that they are doing. This is something that should always be remembered, and it can make such a big difference in the attitude that is carried throughout. Avoid letting any agendas that are coming from the media or the political world stop you from doing what you do best. Sometimes, it is easy to get blown off course, but if you keep a student-first approach, it is going to be difficult to go far wrong.

Embrace New Tech as it is Released

Tech is changing our world in so many different ways, and there is no doubt that this is happening in schools. Therefore, you certainly need to be ready to embrace new ways of doing things in the classroom environment and beyond. For example, the addition of interactive whiteboards and personal laptops can prove to be a revelation. At the same time, these need to be accompanied by a clear and obvious plan in order for you to achieve the type of success that you are looking for. You cannot simply assume that tech is going to be the catch-all solution that solves all of your problems. The introduction of new grading and communication systems, for example, can end up representing a significant change to the ways in which your school is operating, and you certainly need to be fully ready to embrace these changes with a plan that joins up the dots. It is also going to be a constant good idea to be reviewing your current tech at all times to see whether or not there are clear and obvious opportunities for upgrades. Otherwise, you may very well find that it is the case that other schools and learning institutions manage to get a jump on you in this area.

Put in Place a Strong Hiring Policy

Without a doubt, the best resource that your school can offer is its teachers and other staff members. Taking this into account, you certainly need to have the type of hiring policy in place that successfully manages to recruit, train, and keep hold of staff members. Otherwise, you can find yourself in a situation that is somewhat of a constant revolving door rather than a fixed and established group of people who have all had the opportunity to learn and develop alongside one another. As well as the main interview process itself, you also need to think about how you are going to be able to distinguish between the experience that is there on offer. As has already been mentioned, you are also going to need the type of onboarding process that is comprehensive enough to ensure a high level of staff members get up to speed quickly. Also, your workplace policy is important as you want people to have a sense of positivity right from the get-go.

Continue with Clear and Obvious Expectations

If your expectations are set out right from the start, this means that the chance that misunderstanding are going to occur are likely to be a lot less. While it is great to have verbal meetings in which policies are expanded upon in further detail, it will also prove to be invaluable for you to have a written policy document that can be referred back to as and when needed. This way, you can never say that people are not on the same page – as it is right there in black and white and cannot be disputed for any real reason. Of course, your policy document needs to be something that is fluid rather than fixed in place. This will certainly help you out significantly in ensuring that you are running the type of school that is always willing and able to bring in fresh ideas, as well as keeping pace with modern thinking. This is something that is often developing and changing over time.

Give Performance Indicators and Create Incentives

It is usually the case that staff members who take the job seriously want to be able to see how their performance is measuring up to the crowd. Therefore, you need to have some performance indicators in place that are the measurement of success. This way, people are always able to work towards something and are less likely to be left in a situation in which they are not really sure what they should be doing next. At the same time, it is also going to be worth having in place a clear system of incentives that offer people encouragement and act as a clear and obvious way that they can seek out rewards. Ultimately, these will all depend on the type of school that you are running and what it is able to ‘give back’ to its staff members.

While there are plenty of other points that could be considered for the successful running of a school, there is no doubt that these represent some of the central components that can all add up to high performance and a great reputation. To begin with, you should be looking to clearly set out your priorities, ensuring that you have goals and targets that you can work towards, and these are clearly communicated with the team around you. If you are not practicing what you preach, this can certainly prove to be a central problem, so make sure that you are demonstrating that you can be a real and positive change at the school. When you are delivering feedback, it certainly needs to be offered in the correct manner without any sense that you are picking on people for no reason.

An atmosphere of positivity that is channeled throughout your school is certainly going to be something that is picked up on and passed on to your entire student body. Therefore, it is certainly a quality that is always going to be worth striving towards. This certainly tallies alongside keeping your students right at the forefront of your mind and always in the number one spot in terms of your thinking. In order to run your school with the expectations of a modern environment, it is always going to be worth embracing new technology as it is released.

Also, you should be looking to maintain the same type of positive environment throughout your school, which certainly means that you need to constantly keep a close eye on your hiring policy. Your expectations should be made clear throughout everything that you are doing, and there is no doubt that performance indicators and incentives are a great way of providing that extra bit of encouragement. Ultimately, there is a balancing act throughout all you are doing.

About Ambika Taylor

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